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2 dolphins given shelter in marine park

/ 12:40 AM March 22, 2014

SCARLETT, a spinner dolphin rescued in Zambales province, is being nursed back to health. ALLAN MACATUNO/INQUIRER CENTRAL LUZON

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT—Two injured spinner dolphins that were shipped to a marine theme park here for safekeeping after surviving blast fishing in Ilocos Norte and Zambales provinces have shown signs of recovery.

Carlo Magno, Ocean Adventure marine operations director, said the two spinner dolphins (Stenella longirostris) suffered from acoustic trauma that impaired their navigational senses and buoyancy.

In a statement, Magno said the dolphins, named Valentina and Scarlett, were turned over to Ocean Adventure for treatment and rehabilitation with the help of animal health experts.

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Valentina, the 1.7-meter-long and 50-kilogram spinner dolphin from Ilocos Norte, was found beached on Feb. 13 with a wound, Magno said.

The wound was caused by blast fishing along the Ilocos coast, he said.

The dolphin was transferred to the Ocean Adventure rehabilitation facility by the Philippine Marine Mammal Stranding Network (PMMSN) on March 1.

Barely a week in the facility, Valentina has started to float in the water by herself with the aid of improvised floaters strapped to her body, Magno said.

Scarlett, the other spinner dolphin, was found beached and wounded in Masinloc town in Zambales, Magno said, adding that the mammal may have encountered blast fishing activities in the area.

Magno quoted a PMMSN report that said Scarlett was consuming dead fish killed by one of these blasts when another explosion nearby struck and injured her.

The dolphin remains under “critical care, as she still cannot swim nor stay afloat,” Magno said.

He said Valentina had started swimming in Ocean Adventure’s open sea enclosure while Scarlett remained in the facility’s round pool.

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“We are giving both dolphins the necessary vitamins and food supplements to help them [achieve] full recovery from their injuries and trauma,” he said. Allan Macatuno, Inquirer Central

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TAGS: blast fishing, Dolphin, Ilocos Norte, Ocean Adventure
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