Atlantic bottlenosed dolphins are slightly darker than their Pacific counterparts. Photo by The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via Flickr, license CC 2.0

A dog trapped in a canal with minutes to spare rescued by heroic dolphins

Dolphins and whales are known for their intelligence. Researchers have even discovered that some species of dolphins give each other names. That’s really quite amazing! And as a Doberman Pinscher on Marco Island, Florida found out, they are also remarkably compassionate.

It seems that Turbo the Doberman slipped out of his yard and was missing for 15 hours. Screen Capture courtesy of WPTV News via YouTube.

Turbo, the Doberman in question, decided to have an adventure and escaped the confines of his yard. Sadly this adventure included falling into a canal, the Social reports. There were no humans around to help the struggling dog.

The situation was turning grim

Turbo found himself stranded in this canal. Screen capture courtesy of WPTV News via YouTube

But then, the situation started to look up. There might not have been any humans around but a pod of dolphins discovered the 11-year-old dog splashing in distress and decided to investigate. Almost immediately they knew the poor dog was in trouble.

Turbo couldn’t scale the walls of the canal — they were too high.

Turbo was frantic and growing exhausted

Atlantic bottlenosed dolphins having a frolic. Photo by Pete Markham via Flickr, license CC SA 2.0

So the dolphins responded by making a ruckus. That drew the attention of nearby neighbors, The Week reports.

“In fact, they made so much noise that some people who lived nearby happened to hear them and investigated why they were being so loud,” said one witness. “Then they noticed the dog trapped below the wall in the canal water.”

Now things were looking up

A Doberman relaxing. Photo by pato garza via Flickr, license CC 2.0

And for Cindy Burnett, Turbo’s worried owner, the dolphin-aided rescue seemed like “a miracle.” Burnett told NBC2 she and her sons had been looking all over for the dog but to no avail.

“I searched and searched and called his name,” she said. “I drove through this street at least five or six times.”

Firemen arrived at the scene and pulled Turbo from the water. The poor dog was shaken by the situation but was otherwise okay. But if the dolphins hadn’t arrived, there’s a good chance he wouldn’t have survived.

The firemen say they believe Turbo may have been in the water for as long as 15 hours. That’s a dangerously long time to keep swimming. And since the canal was full of salt water, Turbo didn’t have the chance to drink. If he had, it just would have made him dehydrated.

Nothing short of remarkable

Bottlenose dolphin surfing a wave. Photo by janeb13 via Pixabay, license Commercial Use

Quite obviously dolphins are very intelligent. Their brain to body ratio is second only to humans and they are one of the most playful creatures in the ocean. And like humans, chimpanzees, elephants, and some birds, dolphins can easily recognize their own reflections in mirrors.

Scientists at Baltimore’s National Aquarium believe this capability may “correlate with higher forms of empathy and altruistic behavior.” These beautiful creatures have even saved human lives on many occasions, including some hairy-scary instances where sharks were involved.

And Turbo’s unique predicament is evidence of just how deep that empathy and altruistic behavior is.

Featured image courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via Flickr, license 2.0

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