Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Rescued dolphin slowly recovering in Subic Freeport

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT -- One of the dolphins that were stranded in the beach of Pilar and Orion towns in Bataan is now slowly recovering.

The dolphin was placed under the care of animal health experts at the Ocean Adventure marine theme park here.

The sick dolphin was transported to the marine facility here last Tuesday after it was observed that it was having problems balancing itself.

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Administrator Armand Arreza said that veterinarians of the Subic Bay Marine Exploratorium-Ocean Adventure (SBME-OA), as well as experts of Subic-based groups Wildlife in Need (WIN) and International Development and Environmental Shipping School (IDESS) are closely watching the animal, which has shown signs of recovering.

At least 200 melon-head dolphins, which are considered threatened species, were stranded in shallow waters off Bataan early this week.

Three of the mammals had died as fishermen and personnel of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) tried to herd them into deep waters.

The dolphin, that was brought to Subic as part of the government’s rescue effort, was very weak when it arrived here, said Olga Piaga, executive assistant to Ocean Adventure President John Corcoran.

She said the animal was placed in a circular pool, and experts are taking care of it round the clock.

"It’s very weak possibly because of dehydration, which causes it to lose its balance," Piaga said. "If we leave it alone, it might drown even if it is an aquatic animal."

Piaga said the dolphin will be staying in Subic for a couple of days before it is released into the sea.

"We would like to determine what causes some of the dolphins to become weaker than the others," Piaga said, adding that all the data collected by Ocean Adventure’s marine animal experts will be brought abroad for thorough study.

The results will be available after next week, she said.

Arreza said animal health experts at the Subic marine park were tapped for the medical aspect of the rescue effort, while BFAR took responsibility of monitoring the movement of the dolphin pods.

"The primary concern now of our government is to keep these dolphins alive. And animal experts of Ocean Adventure and WIN came to help," he said. Jonas Reyes - Manila Bulletin

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