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Friday December 28, 2012

Injured spinner dolphin rescued in Tuaran

Stressed out: Sabah Wildlife Department staff carrying the stranded dolphin to safety at Tuaran beach. beached Stressed out: Sabah Wildlife Department staff carrying the stranded dolphin to safety at Tuaran beach. beached

KOTA KINABALU: An injured dolphin rescued on Boxing Day in Tuaran is being nursed by experts at the Borneo Marine Research Institute (BMRI).

BMRI director Prof Dr Saleem Mustafa said the spinner dolphin weighing about 70kg was still stressed and efforts were under way to calm it as much as possible.

“I do not think the dolphin is out of danger. We do not know if it will survive despite our best efforts. All I can say is that probably it would not have survived at all had it been not been rescued.

“We can say with more certainty about its chances of survival once we see it regaining normal swimming posture, resting position and appetite,” he said.

Saleem said they would continue to monitor its health condition according to quarantine requirements. If any sign of infectious disease appears, the next course of treatment will be decided.

The seven-year-old spinner dolphin or Stenella longirostris was found along the Tuaran coast about 35km from here at about noon on Wednesday.

He said the dolphin was a bit restless from its ordeal and might have other problems which cannot be diagnosed by external observations.

“I could not see it sleeping. A healthy dolphin rests by floating at the surface, with one eye open.

“After some time, it closes one eye and opens the other one. I have not seen this alternative eye opening and closing activity. Obviously, the dolphin is restless,” he said.

Saleem said BMRI could not establish whether the dolphin belonged to the resident population in Sabah or migrated from other area.

He said the dolphin might have eaten contaminated organisms, suffered exhaustion or sickness, disorientation or injuries from being beached.

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