A dolphin is being lifted in a yellow sling

Dolphin Rescue

Born Free is proud to have rescued several individual dolphins from a life in captivity, rehabilitating them and safely returning them to the wild.

Read more about these dolphins below.


In 1991, Born Free, supported by the Mail on Sunday and other animal welfare groups, campaigned to close the UK’s last dolphinaria.

The Into the Blue campaign resulted in the rescue of three bottlenose dolphins, Missie and Silver from Brighton Dolphinarium, and Rocky from Morecambe Marineland. All three were rehabilitated and released back into the wild in the Caribbean. The UK has remained dolphinaria-free ever since.

Three dolphins in the sea



In 2010, Born Free rescued two bottlenose dolphins, Misha and Tom, from a captive facility in Hisaronu, Turkey.

These dolphins were in desperate need of life-saving emergency assistance to remove them from their small and dirty pool. Following the Back to the Blue campaign, spearheaded by Born Free and a local network known as the Dolphin Angels, Tom and Misha were rescued and rehomed in a specially constructed sea-pen, in partnership with Turkish NGO, SAD. Here, they underwent an extensive programme of rehabilitation, prior to their release back to the wild in May 2012.

Watch the video      READ MORE ABOUT MISHA & TOM

People carrying a dolphin in a sling

Dolphins Misha and Tom under water


Images: © J Foster


Born Free regularly receives calls for help about captive animals in need. Sadly, there are many more animals in need of rescue than there are sanctuary spaces worldwide. Dolphins, and other cetaceans, are particularly difficult to relocate as few specialist sanctuaries currently exist.

It is vital we use precious sanctuary spaces not only to rescue animals in need, but to also highlight the problems facing captive wildlife (for example, private ownership, trade, circuses, and substandard zoos). We therefore have many considerations to make when we are informed about a captive animal in need.

View our flowchart to give you an idea of what we must take into account when we receive information about a captive animal from supporters.