Monday, October 09, 2006

Rescued dolphin should return to the wild soon

A bottle-nose dolphin, which was stranded along the coast of south China, has been doing well following two weeks of treatment and is expected to return to the sea in about a month after it fully recovers, experts said on Wednesday.The male dolphin, weighing 250-kg and measuring 2.55 metres in length, was found beached in shallow water near Shatian Town, Hepu county of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region by a fisherman on Sep 19.

It was taken to the zoo in Nanning, the regional capital, for treatment later that day.The dolphin, which is now eating seven kilograms of food a day, is still recovering from lacerations, said Zou Guiming, an official of the Nanning Zoo.The dolphin will be released back to the sea if experts agree that it will survive.

Experts say they will give the dolphin additional time at the zoo if they think it can't survive on its own, said Zou.Experts believe that the dolphin may have become stranded after it became disoriented perhaps because of an earthquake at sea or an illness.When the dolphin was discovered its skin had dried out and was cracked, said Yang Caichang, another official of the zoo.

Experts treated the dolphin with injections and an intravenous drip, before transporting the animal to the zoo on a yacht.The bottle-nose dolphin is listed as an endangered animal and stranded dolphins are not easily saved, according to experts.

Quick "Facts about Dolphins"