A helicopter has lifted six dolphins to safety from an aquarium on a Cuban islet threatened by the approach of Hurricane Irma, Cuban authorities said Friday.
Wrapped in moist towels, the six male dolphins from the “Cable Esqui” center on Cayo Guillermo were placed on foam mattresses in a helicopter on Thursday and flown to the southwestern province of Cienfuego, away from the storm, the state ACN news agency said.
“For the moment, they are in a pool that offers similar living conditions and if the weather doesn’t allow them to be kept there, they will be moved to a salt water pool at a hotel,” said Gonzalo Carrero Escobar, the head of the aquarium.
Their trainers and a veterinarian accompanied the marine mammals, he added.
Hurricane Irma, downgraded to a still massive Category Four hurricane, has begun to brush the northern coasts of Cuba and the white sand islets prized by tourists.
The hurricane is expected to turn north from Cuba, on track for a direct hit in southern Florida, the Miami-based US National Hurricane Center says.