While tourist are still unable to glide through the canals of Venice via the cities iconic gondolas, local cetaceans have reportedly been taking advantage of the lack of traffic for a day trip.
Though the original videos of dolphins playing in the canals in early 2020 were proved to be fake news, new footage has emerged of the animals frolicking near the city which has been verified by a wildlife group.
Last month, the co-owner of a drainage company Marco Busetto spotted two dolphins swimming in the Giudecca canal, which separates Giudecca from Venice’s historic centre.
According to CNN Travel, Busetto alerted authorities immediately.
An hour later the dolphins appeared again at the mouth of the Grand Canal where Luca Folin, who works for Busetto, managed to capture video footage of them.
“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,” Folin told CNN Travel.
“But they were also in a lot of danger because of all the boats going back and forth, which could have injured them with their propellers.”
While Folin and his colleagues tried to block traffic to protect the dolphins, police contacted the Cetacean strandings Emergency Response Team (CERT), which managed to catch up with the dolphins.
Guido Pietroluongo from the group told CNN Travel that the traffic was intense and the dolphins were completely disoriented.
“Dolphins mostly orientate themselves by sound, but here, both sides of the canal had walls and there were boats all around,” he said.
“The authorities said they had been stuck there for two hours, swimming round and round.”
CERT managed to coordinate nine boats to form a chain to steer the animals towards the Adriatic sea.
Authorities had to stop traffic in the area to stop the dolphins from getting disoriented and eventually managed to direct them away from St Marks Square.
“We realised the animals were at the safest point and wanted to see what they would do,” Pietroluongo said.
“We sighted them three times and then lost them completely.
“They hadn’t gone back towards the Grand Canal, so hopefully they took the right direction.”
Featured image source: Facebook/CERT