St. James Parish art class, New Orleans

St. James Parish art class, New Orleans (© WDSU New Orleans)

Students at St. James Parish Gifted Center in Vacherie, La., have a pretty cool school mascot: a dolphin. Fittingly, some of them are dedicated to the well-being of the aquatic mammals that live in the nearby Gulf of Mexico.

According to a report by WDSU New Orleans, six fourth-grade students were shocked in art class when they read about a dolphin being shot to death. So they decided to get involved.

Video: Students work to save dolphin

This led them to adopt Louie, a survivor of the 2010 Gulf oil-spill disaster. "We read about him, and he was under 2 years old," student Radyn Boe said. "We heard that he was attacked by another dolphin."

Bing: See photos of dolphins

Wounded dolphin adopted by schoolchildren

Wounded dolphin adopted by schoolchildren (© WDSU New Orleans)

For fellow classmate Adrian Sandovall, a local connection with Louie was an important part in adopting him. "The article about him said he was from Louisiana, so I guess that really spoke to us," he said.

Bing: See photos of the Gulf of Mexico

The students painted a colorful mural to raise money for Louie and to increase awareness for protecting dolphins.

They're also hoping to raise enough money to travel to Florida, where Louie now lives, to present the artwork to their best marine friend ever.

Bing: See photos of the 2010 Gulf oil-spill disaster