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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 10:41 a.m., Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Baby dolphin clings to life

Advertiser Staff

A sick baby dolphin continued to cling to life today at the Marine Mammal Research rehabilitation facility at Marine Corps Base, Hawaii.

The 4-month-old, 30-pound spotted female dolphin was in stable but guarded condition, said Margaret Akamine, the protected species program coordinator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

"She continues to be stressed and swimming rapidly but she's taking her formula well," Akamine said. "We are still watching her. She is still getting antibiotics."

The dolphin was found Christmas morning frantically swimming in circles at Poka'i Bay and diagnosed with severe pneumonia. It appeared to be recovering Sunday, but early Monday morning the dolphin's condition became critical.

A team of veterinarians and biologists with the Hawaiian Islands Stranding Response Group has been monitoring its condition.

"During this whole event it is possible she could have expired at any moment," Akamine said. "Stranded dolphins, when they come in, are really in a fragile state of health."