Washed-up dolphin wins reprieve

KARON: A two-meter dolphin was rescued from Karon beach today, given medication and food, and returned to the sea within hours. Villagers tried to help the stranded striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba) after a passing tuk-tuk driver saw it washed up on the north end of the beach about 7 am. When Louise O’Brien from New Zealand jogged past about 9 am, the dolphin had been carried away from rocks but still could not swim back out to sea. “I went to help them [the villagers],” Miss O’Brien said. “It was wonderful to have a chance like this.” About 10 am a pick-up truck arrived from the Phuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC) and the dolphin, covered with wet towels, was loaded aboard it. Biologists established it was female, about 25 years old, and weighed 63 kilos. It had suffered scratches on its head and back fin. Kongkiat Kittiwattawong, PMBC biologist, said, “It was quite old and the waves are quite strong so we assume that it got seperated from its pod. “We think it probably had not eaten anything for a couple of days because there are leaves in its feces. Normally this kind of dolphin doesn’t eat plants.” After injections of medicine and doses of liquid food, the dolphin recovered sufficiently to be released back into the ocean. It swam away about 1.30 pm.

Phuket News
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