Thu, Mar 14, 2002 - Page 4 News List

Sick rough-toothed dolphin now safely back in open seas

CNA , ILAN

Divers carefully return a dolphin to the sea yesterday after it was recently discovered stranded on Litze Beach in Wuchieh, Ilan County.

PHOTO: CHIANG CHIH-MING, TAIPEI TIMES

A young rough-toothed dolphin which was recently discovered beached on Litze Beach in Wuchieh, Ilan County, was successfully shepherded back to the open seas by rescuers Wednesday.

The dolphin, believed to have not yet reached adulthood judging from its length of about 2m, was found grounded one month ago with combined symptoms of pneumonia and bronchitis.

Veterinarians in Ilan County scrambled to save the young mammal, nicknamed "Hsiaofu," (小福) and kept it at a newly established center for stranded cetaceans under the Ilan County Research Institute for Animal Health over the past 20-odd days.

The dolphin received proper medical care while at the center and was able to recover very quickly.

According to experts from the Taipei-based Taiwan Cetacean Society, the rough-toothed dolphin is a common cetacean species often seen in waters around Taiwan. It is known in general to be a shy species.

Several years ago, a group of 20 rough-toothed dolphins was found trapped in an oyster farm on a beach in Hsinchu County.

The trapped animals were later released with the help of coast guard forces using PVC rescue rafts.

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) personally fed "Hsiaofu" Tuesday during the head of state's whirlwind tour of Ilan County, which also took him to Kueishan Island off the coast of Ilan.

"Hsiaofu" was lucky, said the Ilan-based veterinarians, as the dolphin was seen being joined by a group of dolphins soon after swimming out to sea to an area only several kilometers away from Kueishan Island.

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