Sick Baby Endangered Irrawaddy Dolphin Recovered With Tube-Fed Milk And Some Helping Hands

Sick Baby Endangered Irrawaddy Dolphin Recovered With Tube-Fed Milk And Some Helping Hands

A couple of months ago, a fisherman spotted a sick baby Irrawaddy Dolphin that seemed to be drowning. It was unable to swim and was struggling to save itself from drowning in a tidal lagoon off the coast of Thailand. The fisherman immediately called the marine conversationalists, who advised them on how to care for the youngster until a rescue team arrives. 

The infant was rescued and given the name Paradon, meaning “brotherly burden”, as everyone understood that it would be difficult to save the sick baby dolphin’s life.

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Irrawaddy dolphins are found mainly in three rivers in Myanmar, Cambodia, and Indonesia, and in some shallow coastal waters of South and Southeast Asia as well. They are scientifically named Orcaella Brevirostris. According to the officials of the Marine Research Institute, Thailand’s eastern coast, which borders Cambodia, is home to around 400 Irrawaddy Dolphins. 

Sick Baby Endangered Irrawaddy Dolphin Recovered With Tube-Fed Milk And Some Helping Hands

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The population of Irrawaddy Dolphins is declining rapidly due to habitat loss, pollution, and fishing practices, in which sometimes dolphins are also trapped. Therefore, they are listed as a vulnerable species by the IUCN. 

Paradon, the sick baby dolphin, was extremely weak, so numerous vets and volunteers were taking care of him at the facility in Rayong on the Gulf of Thailand. Ever since he was discovered by the fisherman, they were watching over him round the clock. Thanaphan Chomchuen, a veterinarian, said that the chance of the baby dolphin’s survival was quite low as they could estimate from his deteriorating condition. 

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Sick Baby Endangered Irrawaddy Dolphin Recovered With Tube-Fed Milk And Some Helping Hands

They put him in a saltwater pool, his lung infection was treated, and they also recruited volunteers to observe his condition frequently. They had to hold him up in the pool to save him from drowning and also fed him with a tube and then a bottle of milk. Volunteers had a shift of eight hours and were given responsibility for the water pump, filter, and producing milk for the calf during the whole day. Despite their best efforts and feeding him every 20 minutes, the dolphin was still weak and even not consuming enough milk.

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Thippunyar Thipjuntar, a 32-year-old financial advisor, is one of the numerous volunteers that show up for babysitting duty. She exclaimed that she couldn’t stop herself from being in love with Paradon due to his round baby face and curved face resembling a grin. She also said that rather than eating, the baby is more focused on playing.

Sick Baby Endangered Irrawaddy Dolphin Recovered With Tube-Fed Milk And Some Helping Hands

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Furthermore, she said that she was worried about this young baby if he does not receive enough nutrition, then it would be difficult to save him. When any individual invests his time, physical effort, mental attention, and money in saving someone’s life, he always wishes for survival and growth. 

Sick Baby Endangered Irrawaddy Dolphin Recovered With Tube-Fed Milk And Some Helping Hands

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She showed her concern and also stated that if they release Paradon back after getting better, the problem is that he won’t be able to have milk. Therefore, they will have to take care of her until he is weaned from milk, and is ready to forage for his own food. Pardon will require long-term care until he has grown up with teeth to prey, and then they will train him to eat fish. 

However, there have not been many successful cases of treating this kind of animal, but if they could do so or save Pardon’s life, then it would be helpful in spreading knowledge. The other significant aspect of saving Paradon is- they can raise awareness about this species of dolphin, which is rare and not left many. 

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