Rescuers get out first 2 of 9 freshwater dolphins trapped by low water in Bolivia river

RIO PAILA, Bolivia (AP) — Dozens of biologists and environmental activists rescued two freshwater dolphins Sunday among nine that have been trapped in a river by low water levels for more than a month.

The two dolphins were caught in nets and brought to shore. They were put in padded, water-filled aluminum containers and driven on all-terrain vehicles about two miles downstream, where they were put in a pen in deeper water.

"This first rescue operation succeeded in transferring two freshwater dolphins weighing between 30 and 40 kilos (66-88 pounds)," Rodrigo Quintana, an environment manager, told The Associated Press.

He said the two rescued dolphins would be kept in the pen until they could be reunited with the other seven. He estimated it would take two or three days more to round up all of the dolphins.

The nine dolphins were trapped in early July in a tributary of the Rio Grande, north of the city of Santa Cruz, when drought caused water levels to drop.

The rescue operation is being mount by biologists from the Noel Kempff History Museum, with financial support from Bolivia's state oil company, foundations and others.