Drone footage of endangered dolphins swimming with paddleboarders in Southland could help artificial intelligence, which is being used for conservation. Rodd Trafford filmed the playful pod in Te Waewae Bay, about an hours drive west of Invercargill, on January 9. "I thought it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I'll never get a chance to film that again," Trafford said. The footage appears to show at least 16 dolphins. READ MORE: * Dolphin advocates say Government's proposed protections are fundamentally flawed * 'It's right in the middle of their hood': Dolphin researcher fearful old dumpsite could spell disaster for Hector's * DOC proposal could cut red tape to building cycle trails on conservation land Trafford said he technically broke drone-use rules when he got the footage, but the Department Of Conservation had since given him the OK because the department would use the footage to enhance its artificial technology work.