Rescued wounded dolphin in Surigao City dies

Rescue workers help stabilize the wounded bottlenose dolphin. MindaNews photo by Roel N. Catoto


SURIGAO CITY – The wounded bottlenose dolphin rescued in the shallow waters of a coastal village here earlier today died around 4:30 p.m.

This was confirmed by Pinky Amarille of the City Quick Action Response Team and Racquel Curtis, barangay captain of Lipata where the dolphin was found.

Necropsy was reportedly conducted on the dolphin, which was then buried at the shoreline of Sitio Panubigon in Lipata.

The bottlenose dolphin was found by Jordan Mendoza Abapo and three companions as it was thrashing in knee-deep waters off the sandy beach between sitio Panumbuyon and Panubigon in Barangay Lipata around 5:30 a.m. The shell gatherers immediately contacted authorities for help.

It had a wound on the upper rear part of its body near its tail flukes.

“It was a pity sight, the dolphin struggling to keep alive. We immediately tried to rescue it and called the attention of the authorities,” Abapo said.

Abapo said the dolphin was cooperative. “We told him that we will help him and he responded with his sounds,” he said.

Chief Insp. Joel V. Liong, of the Surigao City Police Station, measured the dolphin at 7 feet and 1 inch long, a body circumference of 43 inches and width of 13.5 inches at its widest part.

He said the five-inch wide wound was being swarmed by sand flea locally known as “bukto.”

“The wound is old and seems to be healing,” Liong said.

The dolphin’s wound. MindaNews photo by Roel N. Catoto

The Surigao City Quick Action Response Team stayed by the dolphin’s side to nurse it back to health, but to no avail.

Rollie Dizon, a resident of Panubigon who were among the first few who responded to the call for help, said the dolphin looked frail and kept on vomiting blood.

“It has a few scratches on his face and body. I hope it survives,” he said then.

Dr. Leona Nortega, a veterinarian of Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in Caraga Region based in Surigao City, advised those helping the mammal to keep its blowhole above the water and for people around it to stay quiet.

She was planning to look for an inflatable pool to nurse the dolphin there because the water was choppy and only aggravated the dolphin’s stress.

Had the dolphin survived and regained its health, it would have been eventually released back to the sea. “That’s the procedure,” Nortega said. (Roel N. Catoto / MindaNews)