A Thai fisherman’s sick dolphin calf is making good progress with the help of a team of volunteers.

Paladon, whose name means “burden of brothers,” was expected to die from the disease after being rescued from a tide pool last month.

Experts lowered the chances of survival of the dolphin after it was found to be very weak. Initially, Paladon even had to be held in the water by volunteer caregivers.

“We have talked among ourselves that it is very unlikely that he will survive, judging by his condition,” Thanafan Chomchuen, a veterinarian at the center, said Friday.

“Dolphins that are stranded on the shore are usually in such terrible conditions,” Chomchuen said. I did my best.”

Our veterinarians and staff play with them, give them milk, and help them practice their motor skills in their small habitat. He is cared for around the clock by a team of volunteers who support his recovery.

Veterinarian Thanaphan Chomchuen takes care of a baby dolphin nicknamed Paladon at the Marine and Coastal Resources Research and Development Center in Rayong province, eastern Thailand.
Veterinarian Thanaphan Chomchuen takes care of baby dolphins called Paladongs in eastern Thailand.
AP Photo/Satchai Lalit

The volunteers struggle to feed the Paladon every 20 minutes, so the Paladon is still not out of the forest.

Thirty-two-year-old financial advisor Thippunyar Thipjuntar is one of many volunteers who come to Paladon’s babysitting shift.

“He’s not eating enough, but he just wants to play. I’m worried he’s not getting enough nutrition,” she told the Associated Press on Friday.

Veterinarian Tanafan Chomchuen plays with a baby dolphin named Paladon at the Marine and Coastal Resources Research and Development Center.
Veterinarian Tanafan Chomchuen plays with a baby dolphin named Paladon at the Marine and Coastal Resources Research and Development Center.
APAP Photography/Satchai Lalit

She continued, “When you invest time, physical effort, mental attention, and money to come here as a volunteer, of course, I hope he’ll stay strong and survive.

The calf shows no signs of previous infections, and veterinarians are preparing for possible long-term care in Thailand until the paladon can hunt its prey.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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