With humans under another lockdown in Italy, a pair of striped dolphins swam through Venice's famous Grand Canal before being ushered back to the Adriatic Sea.
The dolphins usually swim in pods of 100 and take great care to stay far away from coastlines, leading researchers to believe this duo may have gotten lost while searching for food. The dolphins that turned up in Venice "were completely disorientated, swimming around in all directions, mostly because they were scared," Guido Pietroluongo, part of the rescue group that worked to guide the dolphins away from the city, told CNN.
The group spent more than two hours guiding the dolphins away from the boats that regularly travel through these historical canals and toward the Adriatic Sea where they are more commonly found. The team had to create a chain to redirect boat traffic and set the dolphins on a path back to sea.
But before they could do that, the dolphins were captured on video — a good thing since previous reports of dolphins seen in Venice — during Italy's first pandemic lockdown in 2020 — turned out to be from Sardinia, not Venice.
"It really was a lovely surprise — something unique and special — to see them and to think how close they had got to the Grand Canal," Luca Folin, who captured the video, told CNN.
The last time a striped dolphin was spotted in Venice was about four years ago. Bottlenose dolphins are more common.
Meena Thiruvengadam is a Travel + Leisure contributor who has visited 50 countries on six continents and 47 U.S. states. She loves historic plaques, wandering new streets and walking on beaches. Find her on Twitter and Instagram.
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