Natural disasters pose a huge threat to humans. Each time a disaster occurs, our heartstrings are pulled as we hear of families who have lost their homes and have been displaced from their loved ones. But humans aren’t the only ones who are affected by these tragedies.
We often forget about the abundance of wildlife that lurks just beneath the surface of the water. When disaster strikes, particularly in a hurricane, the marine life also faces turmoil. We never stop to think about how these creatures deal with the chaos around them, unless we see the effects of the tragedy for ourselves.
When Hurricane Irma hit the gulf coast of Florida, many families faced devastation. In fact, according to CNN, this disaster is “the strongest basin hurricane ever recorded outside the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea.” It lasted for almost two weeks, and left in its wake a trail of devastation.
Floods filled the city, and many people experienced power outages that made comfortable living impossible. This was a trying time for the people of Florida, but it was difficult for the animals that lived just off the coast as well.
Kerry Sanders, a reporter for NBC, was sent to the beach of Marco Island to get a first-hand account of the destruction. Sanders’ colleagues expected to find him standing on the beach, looking around at the devastation, but what they discovered instead was quite shocking.
This reporter was not sitting by idly waiting for someone else to heal the situation. Rather, he saw an animal that needed help – and he dove right in.
A baby dolphin had been caught up on the grass near the beach, presumably swept there by the storm. A kind stranger brought it into the water, and that’s when Sanders stepped in. Together he and an unnamed hero brought the dolphin deeper into the water.
The poor thing was exhausted from its desperate attempts to fight the strong current and return to the sea. By the time the two heroes arrived to help, the dolphin was almost too tired to go on. But the men never gave up hope. They worked together to bring the dolphin back into deep water, where it could swim away to safety.
Finally, the dolphin made it far enough into the ocean. Safe at last, it seemed the men’s work was complete. That is, until they turned around to find another dolphin in distress.
This one was much bigger than the other, and the reporter thought it may have been the baby’s parent. Just like the little one, this dolphin was exhausted. It had been trapped on the sand for far too long, and it was in desperate need of help.
The men knew that they had no time to lose. They assembled a small group of random strangers to help carry the dolphin into the water. With all of the adults working together, they were able to spare this creature from any further suffering.
As the dolphin reached the sea and swam off, the men couldn’t help but feel a sense of pride. They had aided these noble animals in their time of need; there is no greater calling than lending a helping hand.
These dolphins are just one example of the turmoil that sea life faces during natural disasters. It is easy to get carried away with our own worries – sometimes we forget just how lucky we are. Humans are equipped with disaster preparation warning and techniques, and we are provided with resources when we are in need. Other species aren’t quite so lucky.
Sanders and his fellow rescuers proved what heroism really is. When they saw an animal in need, they didn’t hesitate to get their feet wet. They jumped right in and did what was necessary to restore the dolphins to their proper habitat. It is heroes like these who inspire us to be our best selves.
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