2 of 8 Dolphins From
Aquarium Are Caught
JACKSON, Miss. -- Two dolphins that were swept from their aquarium tanks into the Gulf of Mexico by Hurricane Katrina were caught Thursday, but six others remained at sea.
The two dolphins were captured after scientists in a boat coaxed the trained animals onto mats.
The dolphins had cuts and appeared to be the worst injured of the eight, said Jeff Foster, a marine specialist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. They were being moved to a hotel swimming pool.
Trainers and scientists hope to catch more of the dolphins on Saturday but said that might be tougher because the dolphins "get pretty wise to our tricks," Foster said.
The marine mammals had spent much of their lives in captivity at the Marine Life Oceanarium in Gulfport. After Katrina's storm surge washed them away, they were spotted last Saturday swimming off Gulfport by NOAA scientists conducting an aerial damage survey.
Scientists worried that the dolphins might not have the instincts to avoid predators and boat traffic. The dolphins' home had been a 30-foot high tank. The Marine Life Oceanarium was destroyed by Katrina.
Moby Solangi, the aquarium's owner, said the staff had been worried that the dolphins had died. "We are just thrilled that they have stayed together during the past couple of weeks," Solangi said.
-- Associated Press
Family, Witnesses Protest:
Grandma's No Looter
KENNER, La. -- Merlene Maten undoubtedly stands out in the prison where she has been held since Hurricane Katrina. The 73-year-old church deaconess, never before in trouble with the law, now sleeps among hardened criminals. Her bail is a stiff $50,000.
Her offense? Police say the grandmother from New Orleans took $63.50 in goods from a looted deli the day after Katrina struck.
Family and eyewitnesses have a different story. They say Maten is an innocent woman who had gone to her car to get some sausage to eat but was wrongly handcuffed by tired, frustrated officers who couldn't catch younger looters at a nearby store.
Not even the deli owner wants her charged.
"There were people looting, but she wasn't one of them. Instead of chasing after people who were running, they grabbed the old lady who was walking," said Elois Short, Maten's daughter, who works in traffic enforcement for the police department in neighboring New Orleans.
-- Associated Press