** UPDATE: The administrator for the ThaiWhales conservation group informed The Phuket News on Dec 6 that Mr Yannapon is not a member of the ThaiWhales conservation group and Mr Yanapon has since retracted his claim that the dolphin vomited plastic. (See follow-up stories here and here)
Marine biologists at the PMBC’s Endangered Species Unit have called for volunteers to help provide round-the-clock care for the dolphin as it is still experiencing breathing difficulties and suffering from fatigue.
“The dolphin cannot swim by itself and it will drown if there is no one to hold it,” marine mammal expert Dr Patcharaporn Kaewmong explained to The Phuket News today (Dec 3).
“This means that the dolphin must have volunteers beside it 24 hours a day just to keep it afloat. The volunteers must hold it straight so it can breathe (from its blowhole on the top of its head),” she said.
“Volunteers will also have to check its heart rate and its breathing every five minutes, and pour water onto its skin to keep the skin wet at all times,” Dr Patcharaporn said.
Worse, today the dolphin vomited pieces of plastic, Yanapon Chaiwootti, a volunteer at the centre caring for the dolphin, confirmed.
“The dolphin vomited many small pieces of plastic from its mouth,” he said (** see above).
Although the marine experts have been unable to identify what form the plastic originated from, Mr Yanapon confirmed that it is “soft, biodegradable plastic”.
Regarding the wounds found on the dolphin’s dorsal fin and mouth when it was recovered last Wednesday (see story here), Mr Yanapon noted, “The wounds are getting better. They look like skin severe skin abrasion from rubbing on the sand.”
To volunteer, people can call the PMBC at 076-391127-8 or contact Mr Yanapon through the ThaiWhales group on Faceboook (click here).