Baby dolphin surprise for pupils

Baby dolphin surprise for pupils
The yet-to-be-named female calf swimming behind an adult dolphin at Resorts World Sentosa’s Dolphin Island.

The latest addition to Resorts World Sentosa's (RWS) Dolphin Island made its first public appearance yesterday - before a group of 40 pupils from Kranji Primary School.

The children were on the attraction's dolphin education programme when they were taken to see the four-month-old female calf swimming in the lagoon with her mother Tian Tang. She was born on Dec 17 last year.

For many of the pupils, seeing the dolphins was a "pleasant surprise", said Madam Rufaidah Ismail, head of the school's science department. Abinithi Arun Kumar, 12, who is in Primary 6, said: "Two months ago, I was doing research for my composition themed 'animals worth admiring' and I chose to write on the dolphin.

"Seeing my research come to life today was very exciting."

RWS is inviting participants of its dolphin interaction programme to suggest a name for the calf, offering a "dolphin VIP" programme for two to the person who comes up with the winning name by June 30.

Dolphin Island also announced yesterday that the first phase of its Save the Irrawaddy Dolphin project will start later this month.

The field conservation project will see a team of researchers and officials from Dolphin Island, Chulalongkorn University Thailand and Thailand's Department of Marine and Coastal Resources working together to conduct a week-long population assessment of the Irrawaddy dolphins in Songkhla Lake.

The dolphin population is facing a decline due to pollution and sedimentation, which is causing the lake to become shallower.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species, the Irrawaddy dolphin is listed as vulnerable.

While the project is still in its early stages, RWS says it hopes the findings will go towards helping the animals in the lake.

The report on initial findings is expected to be released in the third quarter of this year.

andreang@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on April 16, 2015.
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