Experts say the calf was being closely monitored by marine mammal veterinarians and showed signs of stress, leading to its release.
“The successful rescue made conservation history and demonstrates that the goal of VaquitaCPR is feasible,” said Secretary Pacchiano. “No one has ever captured and cared for a vaquita porpoise, even for a brief period of time. This is an exciting moment and as a result, I am confident we can indeed save the vaquita marina from extinction.
Experts had planned extensively for the scenario that unfolded on Wednesday and every precaution was taken to safeguard the health of the vaquita calf, which was estimated to be about six months old.
Photo: Tom Jefferson/NOAA Fisheries/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)