Video: Dolphin Rescued From Crab Trap Horror

Tangled in Crab Pot Line in the Elizabeth River, Dolphin Would Have Drowned

For Immediate Release:
September 27, 2018

Audrey Shircliff 202-483-7382

Norfolk Va. – The phone call came in to the PETA office: A dolphin was entangled in a crab pot line in the Elizabeth River, unable to get free and near drowning—but, as a new video released today shows, PETA’s rescue team rushed out onto the river to save the animal.

The rescuers discovered that the rope connecting a crab pot to a buoy was wrapped around the dolphin’s lower jaw four times, as well as around both pectoral fins. After they removed the rope, which had cut into the dolphin’s skin, the exhausted mammal was able to swim away.

“We know the Ghent area crab trap operator is doing his best, but these traps are not only death traps for crabs but also for dolphins and all other animals, including dogs, who swim in the Elizabeth River,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA is happy to have rescued this dolphin, but if people decided to be kind to crabs, this threat would disappear.”

PETA (whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”) notes that in an eyewitness investigation of a crustacean slaughterhouse, live crabs—who are living, feeling animals, not robots—were impaled, torn apart, and decapitated, even as their legs continued to move. PETA offers a free vegan starter kit (available here) full of recipes, tips, and more.

For more information, please visit

If you see a marine mammal or sea turtle in distress in Virginia, call 757-385-7575. In the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, call the NOAA stranding hotline 866-755-6622, the Coast Guard, or your local stranding network, and stand by the animal until help arrives. To find your local stranding network, visit the NOAA website.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind