Tiny Entangled Seahorse Rescued, Rehabilitated, and Returned to the Sea

Tangled in fishing line with things looking grim, the story of Frito's rescue is inspiring all around.

©. Clearwater Marine Aquarium

Sometimes big stories come in little packages. Take the story of Frito the seahorse, for example.

On June 10, local resident Dawn McCartney and her daughters were snorkeling off of Redington Shores, Florida, when they came across the tiny seahorse tangled in fishing line among the trash, with the line wrapped around her poor little neck several times. They carefully untangled the creature and put her in a water bottle filled with seawater before calling Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA) for help.

Like a sea-creature ambulance crew, a team from CMA arrived at the scene and whisked the injured seahorse back to the aquarium – where they promptly named her Frito.


© Clearwater Marine Aquarium

Frito's story is not unlike many of the rescued animals at CMA; animals who have been affected by fishing line entanglement. The dangers of monofilament fishing line floating in the ocean threaten many different species of marine life including sea turtles, dolphins, stingrays, birds, and yes, even seahorses. Imagine humans having to find their way through huge tangles of hard-to-see fishing line everywhere we went – a lot of us would end up in dire straits as well.

But now, after two weeks of being nursed back to health, Frito was deemed ready to return to the wild – which is exactly what the aquarium did. Taken by boat to a lush seagrass bed, b-roll footage shows Frito seeming to be right at home back in the sea.


© Clearwater Marine Aquarium

“Our mission of rescue, rehabilitation and release applies to all marine life, big and small,” says David Yates, CEO of Clearwater Marine Aquarium. “The level of care our team gave to tiny Frito is inspiring. It is so rewarding to get her back home.”

Saving the world, one inch-long seahorse at a time.

Via AP