January 24 (RIA Novosti) - Video of an injured dolphin entangled in fishing line being freed by a diver off the coast of Hawaii after the dolphin appeared to be seeking out assistance has gone viral.
"All of a sudden I heard a loud squeak, and I turned around, and the dolphin was literally three feet (.9 meters) behind me. He swam right up to me," Keller Laros, a professional scuba instructor, told NBC News about the injured porpoise.
The dolphin approached Laros and started to slowly circle around him while he was leading a group of divers and professional videographers on an underwater tour off the coast of Kona, Hawaii on January 11.
Since Laros has led more than 10,000 dives during his career he said he knew something was wrong with the approximately 10-foot-long (3 meters) porpoise because it was alone and dolphins normally swim in groups.
"We've seen five of those dolphins at this dive site at the night dive before. They're very curious and intelligent animals," Laros told NBC News. "Dolphins are really social animals. In the past we've seen at least two [at this site]."
When the dolphin got closer, Laros said he spotted a fishing hook stuck through its left pectoral fin and the fishing line entangled around its body and mouth.
Laros told NBC News that upon seeing the dolphin’s injury he said “'Come here,'” and it “swam right up to me.”
As if it understood what Laros had said, the dolphin immediately responded to his instructions and patiently waited while he removed the hook and most of the fishing line.
The eight minute long rescue was caught on video by a camerawoman who was on the underwater tour, and it shows the dolphin allowing Laros to remove the hook and use dive tools that he carried in his suit, including a pair of scissors, to cut the line.
During the process, the dolphin even left to get a breath of air and then came back to allow Laros and another diver to finish removing as much of the line from the fin as possible.
"I guess the dolphin was happy with our work. He swam away and we never saw him again," he said.
The eight-minute video received almost one million views by Thursday afternoon and a new abridged three-minute version released on Wednesday has received 42,500 views.
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