Paradon the dolphin no ‘brotherly burden’ for Thai marine centre

The dolphin found drowning off the coast of Thailand last month is on the mend says the director of a Thai marine resource centre but added it will probably take a year before he makes a full recovery.

Fishermen found the sick Irrawaddy dolphin calf drowning in a tidal pool near Rayong on Friday, July 22, and alerted marine conservationists.

The four to six month old dolphin, christened Paradon, was given little to no chance of surviving but, miraculously, has been since nursed back to health at Thailand’s Marine and Coastal Resources Research and Development Center for veterinary attention.

Thanaphan Chomchuen, a veterinarian at the center, said…

“We said among ourselves that the chance of him surviving was quite low, judging from his condition. Normally, dolphins found stranded on the shore are usually in such a terrible condition. The chances that these dolphins would survive are normally very, very slim. But we gave him our best try on that day.”

Paradon, which means brotherly burden, was treated for a lung infection in a seawater pool with volunteers watching and caring for him around the clock. The dolphin had to be held up in his tank to prevent him from drowning while he was bottle-fed milk until he recovered some strength to swim.

One of the centre’s vets shared eight-hour shifts with volunteers and the dolphin’s condition is improving but he is still weak.

Marine centre director Sumana Kajonwattanakul made known the dolphin isn’t out of danger just yet and will need to be looked after for at least a year.

“If we just release him when he gets better, the problem is that he won’t be able to have milk. We will have to take care of him until he has his teeth, then we must train him to eat fish, and be part of a pod. This will take quite some time.”

Thanaphan believes caring for Paradon is providing the centre’s staff with valuable knowledge of science and the nature of dolphins.

“If we can save him and he survives, we will have learned so much from this. Secondly, I think by saving him, giving him a chance to live, we also raise awareness about the conservation of this species of animal, which are rare, with not many left.”

The International Union for Conservation of Nature considers Irrawaddy dolphins to be a vulnerable species. They are generally found in the shallow coastal waters of Southeast Asia and three rivers in Myanmar, Cambodia, and Indonesia. Their survival is threatened by habitat loss, pollution, and fishing when dolphins are caught unintentionally with other species.

The marine research center believes only 400 Irrawaddy dolphins remain along the country’s eastern coast, bordering Cambodia.

SOURCE: The Guardian

Thailand News

Bob Scott

Bob Scott is an experienced writer and editor with a passion for travel. Born and raised in Newcastle, England, he spent more than 10 years in Asia. He worked as a sports writer in the north of England and London before relocating to Asia. Now he resides in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is the Editor-in-Chief for The Thaiger English News. With a vast amount of experience from living and writing abroad, Bob Scott is an expert on all things related to Asian culture and lifestyle.

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