Tuesday was supposed to be a day of celebration for biologists and Dunham, an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin. There was picture taking and camera crews to record the release of the dolphin into the wild.
But the special moment turned into a stunning tragedy moments later after the dolphin was attacked by sharks just hours after he was released into the ocean in west Florida.
Dunham, a juvenile male dolphin, was released Tuesday morning after eight months in rehab recovering from pneumonia. Dunham didn't get a chance to enjoy his new found strength and freedom very long.
Jeni Hatter, spokeswoman for the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, said the dolphin was attacked twice by at least two different sharks. Experts were nearby were monitoring the dolphin with a VHF radio transmitter at the time of the attack.
Hatter said experts rushed to the dolphin and euthanized him because of the life-threatening injuries. She added that he wouldn't been able to recover.