Rescued Phuket dolphin’s health improves

PHUKET: The condition of the injured Spinner dolphin rescued from Mai Khao Beach last month has improved, albeit slightly, thanks to the efforts of staff at the Phuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC).

However, the one-year-old female dolphin still has only a 50:50 chance of surviving, said Dr Patcharaporn Gaewmong, a veterinarian at the PMBC’s Endangered Species Unit (ESU).

“We have our staff monitoring her 24 hours a day. She can eat a chunk of fish and her excretory system has slightly improved, which is a good sign,” Dr Patcharaporn explained.

Though the dolphin is eating, it is still necessary for PMBC officers to feed her through a tube.

“Her muscles are weak and inflamed; there is still some internal infection. We can’t guarantee that she will make it. Most dolphins that are washed ashore, including this one, are very ill,” she added.

In addition to the dolphin, the PMBC is currently taking care of 50 turtles.

“Most of the turtles in our care were injured by fishing nets,” said ESU chief Dr Kongkiat Kittiwattanawong.

“Some of them suffered only minor injuries, but others have lost flippers. We have to clean their wounds daily to make sure they don’t become infected,” Dr Kongkiat said.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong

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