Saturday, November 21st, 2009
CASIGURAN, Sorsogon, Nov. 18 – A wounded young dolphin that ran aground at the shoreline of Sorsogon Bay here on Wednesday was rescued by fishermen and released back to the sea after receiving treatment from a local veterinarian.
Fishermen Pedro Gualvez, Leolito Lagata and Isidro Olario were about to go fishing early morning today when they spotted the dolphin weakened by a wound sustained near its abdomen as it struggled the waves that dumped it into the shoreline.
The trio wrapped the sea mammal measuring about five feet long and weighing some 50 kilograms with their fishing net and took it back to the water without releasing it from the net as they reported the incident to local authorities.
Upon hearing about it, town Mayor Ester Hamor immediately ordered Municipal Agricultural Officer Benigno Bejison to render assistance in providing medical attention to the injured marine creature that is considered among the endangered species.
“Endangered marine species like this dolphin are in good hands once they accidentally hit our shorelines. Our fishermen are well-instructed on how to deal with marine lives like this even off the shores as our municipality implements a policy towards the preservation of rare and endanger marine species,” Hamor said.
Bejison said the rescued dolphin was estimated to be around one year old and that it lost the school of dolphins it was with before running aground at the shoreline.
After administering medicine to its wound and making sure that it has recovered, Bejison escorted the three fishermen in releasing it back to the sea about 100 meters from the shore.
“In feeling that it was free and safe again, the dolphin regained its being playful and even went airborne at least three times before disappearing into the ocean depth from the eyes of hundreds of people including the lady mayor who cheerfully sent it off from the municipal seaport,” Bejison said.
“Parang nagpasalamat sa amin kaya nagpakitang gilas muna bago sumisid palayo (It looked like it expressed gratitude to us by way of showing off its might before diving away)”, Hamor said. Dolphins are aquatic mammals closely related to whales and porpoises and Bejison said that the one rescued here belongs to the common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) family that is found world-wide in tropical and warm temperate waters.
This species travels in schools that sometimes number in the hundreds or even thousands and Bejison said sighting them at the Sorsogon Bay is unusual given its narrow mouth that is not conducive for a big school of dolphins to enter from the open seas like the adjoining Ticao Pass.
Female dolphins give birth to a single calf about three feet in length and considering the measurement of the rescued one that is only less than five feet, the MAO said it is likely less than a year-old.
Adult dolphins grow to eight feet in length and 175 kilograms in weight. Common dolphins can swim at speeds of over 35 kilometer per hour, he said.
Common dolphins feed mostly on shoaling fish and squid near the surface of the water. Like all mammals, dolphins give birth to live young, which are fed with milk from the mother, Bejison added. (PNA)