A pair of dolphins mesmerized onlookers as they swam in Venice’s famed Grand Canal Monday — for real this time.
Officials suspect the animals were drawn into the Italian city in search of food as the canal has enjoyed cleaner water due to a lot less boat traffic and pollution throughout the pandemic.
The porpoises are thought to be an adult and juvenile striped dolphins, perhaps a mother and offspring, according to experts.
CERT, Cetacean strandings Emergency Response Team, called the sighting “unusual” and suggested the animals became “disoriented.”
Earlier in the pandemic fake videos circulated purporting to show porpoises swimming in the empty canals.
But this time it really happened — and it was beautiful.
But also worrying.
Since dolphins prefer deeper water and live in large pods, this sighting concerned researchers, according to CERT.
“The traffic was intense, and we realized the dolphins were completely disorientated, swimming around in all directions, mostly because they were scared,” CERT’s Guido Pietroluongo told CNN.
Still, people who were lucky enough to see the dolphins snapped photos and video — including Luca Folin.
“It really was a lovely surprise,” he told CNN, “Something unique and special, to see them and to think how close they had got to the Grand Canal.”
First responders worked for two hours to ferry the dolphins out to sea.
CERT, local police, the Coast Guard and others helped manoeuvre the animals to a safer, more open environment.
“We thank the Venice Municipality for having made the means of law enforcement available immediately and for the extraordinary collaboration in managing such a delicate incident,” CERT added.
AVVISTAMENTO DELFINI 🐬🐬 NEL CANAL GRANDE DI VENEZIA – CERT IN AZIONE 💪🏻 – video nei commenti – Dopo essere stati…Posted by CERT – Cetacean strandings Emergency Response Team on Monday, March 22, 2021
People were relieved to see the animals make it safely out of the area.
The animals weren’t seen again and presumed to be on their merry way back to the Adriatic.