Watch: Dolphins spotted in Venice's famous canals

The pair were captured making a splash in the city's Grand Canal in a rare sighting

It's one of the world's most popular destinations, but it's not just humans that are drawn to the tourist hot spot of Venice.

A pair of dolphins were spotted in the city's famous canals on Monday, taking advantage of the quieter waterways amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The dolphins, believed to be an adult and a calf, were captured on video swimming in the Grand Canal, close to Venice's St Mark's Square, as well as the Giudecca Canal.

It's a rare sight in the city, with experts putting the pair's appearance down to reduced boat traffic.

"This is very unusual," Luca Bizzan, head of Venice's Natural History Museum, told The Times. "They were clearly encouraged to venture this far into the city by the calm waters in Venice right now."

The Cetacean strandings Emergency Response Team (Cert) sent out a rescue mission to ensure the dolphins made it back to the sea safely, after they appeared to become disorientated.

"It was important to remove the two animals in obvious difficulty from the intense traffic area and this took more than two hours," a post shared on the organisation's Facebook page stated. "After an hour of further monitoring, the animals were no longer been spotted and hopefully, given the wide horizon towards the open sea, they'll be able to return to sea again."

Guido Pietroluongo, a scientist who works with Cert, told CNN the dolphins could have become lost while looking for food.

"They could have been following prey in the mid-Adriatic, pushed north and suddenly found themselves in Venice," he said.

Though Cert remained poised to spring into action, the dolphins were not spotted again after Monday.

The sighting comes a year after a similar report of dolphins in Venice’s canals was revealed to be a hoax. In March 2020, a video circulated on social media of dolphins purportedly swimming in the city, but it was later confirmed the clip had been filmed at a port in Sardinia in the Mediterranean Sea.