The International Union for Conservation of Nature says that Irrawaddy dolphins are vulnerable. You can find them in the shallow coastal seas of South and Southeast Asia and in three rivers in Myanmar, Cambodia, and Indonesia. At the Marine and Coastal Resources Research and Development Center in Rayong province in eastern Thailand, volunteer Tosapol Prayoonsuk feeds a baby dolphin called Paradon milk on Friday.
The Irrawaddy dolphin calf was sick and too weak to swim when fishermen found him dying in a tidal pool on Thailand’s shore. The fishermen quickly told marine conservationists, who told them what to do until a rescue team could take the baby to Thailand’s Marine and Coastal Resources Research and Development Center for medical care. People called the baby Paradon, which basically means “brotherly burden,” because they knew from the start that saving his life wouldn’t be easy.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature says that Irrawaddy dolphins are vulnerable. You can find them in the shallow coastal seas of South and Southeast Asia and in three rivers in Myanmar, Cambodia, and Indonesia. Loss of habitat, pollution, and illegal fishing all threaten their future.
The marine study center thinks about 400 Irrawaddy dolphins are still along the country’s eastern coast, near where it meets Cambodia. Since the fishers found Paradon on July 22, dozens of vets and volunteers have helped take care of him at the center in Rayong, which is on the Gulf of Thailand. Thanaphan Chomchuen, a doctor at the center, said Friday, “Given his condition, we all agreed that he didn’t have a good chance of living.” “Most of the time, dolphins that are found on the beach are in bad shape. Most of the time, there is a very small chance that these dolphins would live. But we tried our hardest to help him that day.”
Workers put him in a seawater pool, treated the lung infection that made him so sick and weak, and asked people to keep an eye on him at all times. They must hold him up in his tank so he doesn’t drown and feed him milk. At first, they used a tube, but when he got stronger, they used a bottle. Each eight-hour shift has a staff doctor and one or two volunteers. During the day, other workers take care of the water pump, filter, and make milk for the calf.
After a month, Paradon’s health is getting better. The calf, thought to be between 4 and 6 months old, can now swim and shows no signs of being sick. But the dolphin, about 4.5 feet long and weighing about 59 pounds on July 22, is still weak and doesn’t drink enough milk, even though the team tries to feed it every 20 minutes or so. Thippunyar Thipjuntar, a financial adviser who is 32 years old, is one of the many helpers who come to Paradon to watch children. Thippunya said that Paradon’s round baby face and mouth that looks like a smile made it impossible for her not to care about his growth and become connected to him.
“He doesn’t eat enough and would rather play than eat. “I worry that he doesn’t get enough food,” she told The Associated Press on Friday as she fed Paradon, who was sleeping in her arm. “When you come here to help out as a volunteer and spend your time, energy, mental focus, and money, you want him to get stronger and live.” The head of the marine center, Sumana Kajonwattanakul, said that Paradon will need care for a long time, maybe up to a year, until he stops drinking milk and can hunt for his own food.
“The trouble is that he won’t be able to eat milk if we just let him go when he’s better. We’ll have to take care of him until he gets his teeth, and then we’ll have to teach him to eat fish and be part of a pod. Sumana said, “This will take a long time.” The people caring for Paradon think that giving him extra love and care is worth it. Veterinarian Thanaphan said, “If we can save just one dolphin, it will help us learn more about how to treat this kind of animal, because we haven’t done it very often.” “We’ll have learned so much from this if we can save him and his lives. “Second, by saving him and giving him a chance to live, we also bring attention to the need to protect this rare animal species, of which there aren’t many left.”