Phuket biologists treat sick dolphin

4 Apr 2011

A bottlenose dolphin found in polluted seas east of Phuket on Saturday is being cared for by Phuket marine biologists. The two-metre-long adult marine mammal was spotted floating in the shallow waters of Klong Tha Cheen near the eastern Phuket district of Rassada by local fishermen.

The fishermen said they had seen a pod of around eight dolphins on Friday night, while they were close to Koh Mai Thon, 20kms away. They told experts from Phuket Marine Biological Centre (PMBC) that they believed the dolphin had followed their boat to land.

Experts then transported the as yet unnamed dolphin to the PMBC facility at Cape Panwa, where it is now being nursed by staff in the Marine Endangered Species Unit. Kongkiat Kittiwatthanawong heads up the unit and said that the dolphin looked as though it had hit rocks as it had scrape wounds along its body and was bleeding.

Khun Kongkiat said the dolphin can still swim, but cannot dive for any length of time, a condition that is consistent with respiratory or digestive problems. The dolphin is also leaking pus and biologists plan to take blood tests to ensure that the correct treatment is prescribed.

The PMBC biologists say they are confident they will be able to cure the dolphin and hope to take it back to its pod within the next two weeks.

The bottlenose dolphin was found in the same area that the corpse of a giant leatherback turtle washed up recently. A post mortem on this magnificent beast revealed it had died as a result of eating plastic detritus discarded in the sea.  

Tags: Phuket sick dolphin

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