A Dolphin Found Injured And Drowning In A Rock Pool In Thailand Has Been Rescued
A rescued baby dolphin that was found drowning in a rock pool off the eastern coast of Thailand is starting to improve, volunteer carers have said.
The baby Irrawaddy dolphin has been named "Paradon" by his rescuers, the name translates roughly as "brotherly burden".
Irrawaddy dolphins have a bulging forehead with a characteristic short beak and are dark grey in colour. They are normally found in shallow coastal waters of south and Southeast Asia, as well as rivers in Myanmar, Indonesia, and Cambodia.
They are classed as a vulnerable species due to illegal fishing, pollution, and loss of habitat.
Paradon is being treated at the Marine and Coastal Resources Research and Development Centre in Rayong, Thailand, where he requires round-the-clock care. Dozens of vets and volunteers are currently nursing the dolphin back to full health.
One of the vets who is caring for Paradon said: "Normally, dolphins found stranded on the shore are usually in such a terrible condition. The chance that these dolphins would survive is normally very, very slim. But we gave our best to him on that day."
The injured dolphin was initially found by fishermen on the shore on 23 July. He was so weak that he could not swim and was suffering from an infection.
Paradon was placed into a pool filled with seawater where he received medical treatment, with volunteers taking turns to hold him in the water so he didn't drown.
A volunteer carer at the centre said: "He does not eat enough but rather just wants to play. I am worried that he does not receive enough nutrition. When you invest your time, physical, mental attention, and money to come here to be the volunteer, of course, you wish that he would grow strong and survive."
Paradon is still in a critical condition, although he can now swim, he remains very weak.
Vets say that he is not drinking enough milk even though the carers are attempting to feed him every 20 minutes.
The director of the centre, Sumana Kajonwattanakul, says it could take up to a year to wean Paradon off milk and teach him to hunt for his own food, stating he will need long-term care.
She said: "If we release him once he gets better, the problem is 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."
A volunteer said: "If we can save him and he survives, we will learn 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 animal as they are rare and not many of them left."
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