Friday, March 10, 2006

Ailing dolphin seem to be recovering!

Marineland manager Gary Macdonald is remaining "very cautious" over the chances of Shona the dolphin surviving her current health scare, despite the mammal showing signs of getting her appetite back.

Mr Macdonald said Shona ate 6.1kg of fish yesterday, more than three times what she ate the day before. She normally eats up to seven kilograms of fish daily.

"She really upped the ante quite dramatically yesterday. "If we can see something similar happen today, I'll be a very happy chappy."

A full physical, including a blood test, was carried out on Shona last night.

Mr Macdonald said results from the examination were expected late tonight.

However, physically Shona appeared fine. Her blowhole was clear and there were no unexpected odours.

Such was the interest in Shona's wellbeing that Mr Macdonald estimated last night's physical was attended by about 20 members of the "Marineland wider fraternity."

Shona continues to swim listlessly around the Marineland pool, but Mr Macdonald said he had expected that to continue "no matter which way it goes."

Shona's fellow dolphin Kelly continued to check in on her ill poolmate, but Mr Macdonald said otherwise she appeared fine and was continuing to take part in the facility's daily shows.

Mr Macdonald said there was still huge public interest in the health of Shona. Ex-staff members and volunteers at Marineland had been coming in to see the dolphin, and he had also received e-mails from former employees. Current staff were also being regularly updated on the situation.
"They're so much a part of this, this is a total team effort," Mr Macdonald said.

Quick "Facts about Dolphins"