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Dolphin swallows bottle, rescued - August 2, 2011

A performance dolphin at the Hangzhou Polar Ocean Park that accidentally swallowed a water bottle thrown by a member of the audience was saved through a surgical procedure, according to a report of ZheJiang Online Tuesday. The dolphin's trainer was mildly injured during the process.

Around 3pm on July 31, as the dolphin couple, Jack and Linda, started to wrap up the day after their show, an empty water bottle was deliberately thrown into the pool by a member of the audience who quickly disappeared from the scene. The trainer was not able to stop the bottle before it was swallowed by Linda, who is around age 7, equivalent to the human age of 15-16. The trainer was struck down in the attempt to extract the plastic bottle from Linda's throat during the struggle and suffered minor injuries. 

Without other options, the park sought help from Chen Jinlong, chief surgeon in the Gastrointestinal Unit at XiaoShan Hospital. It took 13 staff members to carry Linda, who is about 3 meters long and weighs 260 kilograms, out of the water and to the operating theater, a designated area on the stage.

The dolphin was carefully taken care of during the procedure, with staff applying water on her skin every 5 minutes to keep it moist.

Guided by intestinal scopes, the bottle was taken out by using surgical equipment that is commonly used in the removal of kidney stones from human patients. After the half-hour procedure, Linda was prescribed peptic ulcer medication and antibiotics as a post-surgery precaution. She was in a stable state, said the report.

There are 11 dolphins owned by the Hangzhou Polar Ocean Park, all of which have been imported from Japan. The dolphin couple involved in this incident were common Bottlenose dolphins, and were the only two of their kind in the show.

The chief of the department of marine mammal care, Liu Quansheng, explained that "Linda is usually very active. And it is not the first time she has mistaken an inedible item for food. Last time she swallowed an entire plastic carpet, back in June 2009. We ended up hiring a basketball player, who measured two meters in height, to reach into her mouth to extract the carpet."

Liu Shengxin, head of the department of animal protection for the park, said, "Animals are just as innocent and curious as children, though apparently not treated with the equivalent respect by tourists. We hope that a change in attitude will help to prevent injuries in the future, but public campaigns are needed and it might take a long time before this prevalent way of thinking comes to an end."

Source:

http://www.globaltimes.cn/NEWS/tabid/99/ID/669093/Dolphin-swallows-bottle-rescued.aspx


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