When dolphins find themselves in the kind of trouble that their fellow pod mates can’t help with, what do they do? As far as I know, there are no dolphin hospitals hanging out beneath the ocean’s surface, so when a dolphin falls victim to something like a fishing hook getting embedded in their fin, it doesn’t seem like there are any options. But these creatures are smart and at least one of them seems to have figured out that when you end up snagged by a man-made object, the best place to go for help would be the very people that made the thing in the first place.
While a group of divers were out on a tour in Hawaii, taking underwater shots of the manta ray populations there, they were approached by a dolphin with a problem. A fishing hook and line had become embedded in the creature’s fin and was causing it a bit of an issue. While they were going about their business, the dolphin approached them and signaled. It swam around the divers until one of them noticed the foreign object in the fin and made an attempt to help. For its part, the dolphin was quite cooperative, letting the diver take his time pulling out the hook and cutting the line away. The whole process took several minutes, after which the dolphin left without fanfare, albeit in a little better shape than when it had showed up.
It’s pretty amazing to me not only that the dolphin knew that these divers could help him with his unique problem, but that it was calm enough to let them go about their work until finished. Even though removing the hook must have been somewhat painful, it had enough trust in them to realize that the end result was worth the discomfort. It seems we have yet another sign of dolphins’ ability to reason and of their growing relationship with human beings.
Since the divers were down there filming the manta rays, they happened to have a camera with them and recorded the whole event, which you can check out in the video below: