The dolphin had become entangled in a fishing net. | @ieo_baleares

A dolphin, which had become entangled in a net and had first been sighted on 19 December in the bay of Palma, has been freed.

A rescue team had tried to catch the dolphin over a week ago, the alert having been raised by a call to the 112 emergency service. However, it swam away, seemingly without any difficulty, and so avoided rescue boats. It was then spotted again on Christmas Eve, but a team which went out was unable to locate it. On Monday, the dolphin was seen around a mile off the yacht club in El Molinar. The net was dragging it down and causing problems with breathing.

A diver in the area was able to start cutting the net away, which allowed the dolphin to float and breathe properly. A rescue team from Palma Aquarium arrived and cut away the remainder of the net. An assessment was made, and the dolphin's caudal fin was found to have retained its mobility.

The dolphin, a female of more than three metres in length, was then able to submerge and swim freely.

Cofib, the consortium for the recovery of fauna, which does its recovery work via the Aquarium, has stressed the importance of public involvement in such cases, saying that immediate notification to rescue services can save the lives of animals.