A tiny female seahorse named 'Frito' will once again ride the waves after rescuers removed fishing line from her neck and relocated the rehabbed fish back to her marine stomping grounds.
'Frito' was found by Florida resident Dawn McCartney and her two daughters on June 10th of 2018 as they were snorkeling off Redington Shores, Florida. The tiny lined seahorse (Hippocampus erectus) was trapped in some marine debris with monofilament fishing line wrapped around her neck multiple times.
McCartney knew just what to do: she contacted the Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA), who told her a rescue team was on the way. In the meantime, McCartney carefully unwound the fishing line from Frito's minuscule neck and placed the weakened creature in a water bottle filled with seawater.
CMA staff gratefully received Frito from her caring rescuers and brought her – water bottle and all – to the animal rescue center's HQ, located at a former water treatment plant in Clearwater Beach. Frito quickly regained her strength under the CMA's care and on June 14th she was successfully released at an offshore seagrass bed.
“Our mission of rescue, rehabilitation and release applies to all marine life, big and small,” stated David Yates, CMA's CEO. “The level of care our team gave to tiny Frito is inspiring. It is so rewarding to get her back home.” While Frito may be the CMA's smallest rescue to date, it isn't the first time they've dealt with seahorses. In the past year alone, the center has rescued, rehabbed and released seahorses named Cheeto and Funyun. (via Globe Newswire)