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Baby Dolphin Rescued in Thailand Receives 24 Hour Loving Care



Fishermen in Thailand have rescued a baby Irrawaddy dolphin too sick and weak to swim found drowning in a tidal pool. Since the rescue an army of volunteers have worked tirelessly to assure the baby calf’s survival.

Upon discovering the baby Irrawaddy dolphin, the fishermen contacted marine conservationists, who advised them how to care for the calf until a rescue team could bring it to Thailand’s Marine and Coastal Resources Research and Development Center.

As soon as the baby dolphin was rescued, he was nicknamed Paradon, which means “brotherly burden,” because it seemed impossible to save his life from the start.

The Irrawaddy dolphin is an endangered species that lives in the shallow coastal waters of South and Southeast Asia, as well as in three rivers in Myanmar, Cambodia, and Indonesia. Habitat loss, pollution, and illegal fishing threaten their survival.

Baby Dolphin Rescued in Thailand

According to the marine research center, about 400 Irrawaddy dolphins remain along Thailand’s eastern coast, bordering Cambodia in the Mekong River.

The Baby dolphin Paradon has been in the care of dozens of veterinarians and volunteers since he was rescued by fishermen on July 22.

Dr. Thanaphan Chomchuen, a veterinarian at the center, told AP Friday that judging from his condition, he has a small chance of survival. “Normally, dolphins that are found stranded on the shore are in such a terrible state.

The chances of these dolphins surviving are very, very slim.

However, we give Paradon our most sincere effort every day. The marine center has put him in a seawater pool, treated his lung infection, and an army of volunteers to watch over him round the clock.

He must be held up in his tank to prevent drowning, and he must be fed milk, initially by tube, and later by bottle when he is strong enough, Dr Thanaphan said.

Baby Dolphin Rescued in Thailand

One or two veterinarians work each eight-hour shift, and other workers during the day provide milk for the baby dolphins and operate salt water pumps and filters.

After a month, Paradon’s condition appears to be improving. As of now, the calf, believed to be between 4 and 6 months old, is swimming well without signs of infection.

However, despite every attempt to feed him every 20 minutes, the dolphin still struggles to take in enough milk despite his 138 centimeters (4.5 feet) and 27 kilograms (59 pounds) size.

One of the many volunteers who come to Paradon for a babysitting shift is Thippunyar Thipjuntar, 32.

Seeing Paradon’s round baby face and curved mouth that resembles a smile, Thippunya couldn’t help but grow attached to him.

“He doesn’t eat enough, he just wants to play”. “I’m worried about his nutrition,” she said as she fed the sleepy Paradon cradled in her arms. When you come here to volunteer, you naturally wish that he grows strong and survives. ”

Baby Dolphin Rescued in Thailand Receives 24 Hour Loving Care

The director of the marine center, Dr. Sumana Kajonwattanakul, said the baby dolphin would need long-term care until he was weaned from milk and could hunt for food on his own.

In the event he gets better, we will need to release him, but then he won’t be able to consume milk. We must take care of him until he has teeth, then train him to eat fish and live with a pod. “This is going to take a long time,” Sumana said.

Those who care for Paradon believe that tender loving care is worth the effort.

The veterinarian Thanaphan said, “If we save one dolphin, it will contribute to our knowledge, as there haven’t been many successful treatments for this type of animal”. In the event that he survives, we will have learned so much from the experience.

In addition, by saving him, we are also raising awareness about the conservation of this rare species of animal, which has not been seen for a long time, with few left.”

Source: The Associated Press

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