Rescued dolphin dies after months of treatment fails
Siu Tik, the stranded dolphin rescued on Lamma last year, has died at Ocean Park.
An examination found the rough-toothed dolphin, which had been receiving intensive treatment by Ocean Park staff since its rescue last May, had gastric trouble and various health problems.
Samples were collected from Siu Tik to determine the cause of death, a spokesman for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said. 'If possible, we would want to find out why it was stranded 10 months ago,' he said.
Ocean Park and the department had done all they could to improve the dolphin's health, he said. It had not been able to eat without help since its rescue. But its health had improved at one point, with its weight rising from 75kg to more than 100kg.
More tests would be conducted to determine why Siu Tik failed to respond to treatment, the spokesman said.
Nine dolphins have beached themselves in Hong Kong this year. The total last year was 36.
'Most dolphins die shortly after they become stranded,' the spokesman said. 'The rescued ones usually die a few days afterwards. So Siu Tik actually made a record.'
Since Siu Tik was wild and in poor health, Ocean Park had kept it in a separate pool to protect its other dolphins from infection.
The department will keep Siu Tik's skeleton for public education programmes on the conservation of marine mammals.
'The government and Ocean Park have learned much from Siu Tik. We believe we are better prepared for future stranded dolphins,' the spokesman said.