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Notes on commersons dolphin cephalorhynchus commersonii in captivity

Notes on commersons dolphin cephalorhynchus commersonii in captivity

Cetology 35: 1-9

Four Commerson's dolphins (C. commersonii) were seized by government agents in New York City [New York, USA] for illegal entry into the USA. One female was dead on arrival. The other dolphins were taken to Mystic Marinelife Aquarium in Mystic, Connecticut, where a 2nd female died shortly after arrival. A 3rd female is still alive (Sept. 1979). It arrived with a marked lateral and ventral deviation of the spine, which did not respond to a single early treatment with diazepam. The condition has worsened with time. Radiographs revealed no bony changes. On the 3rd day after arrival in Mystic, the 2 surviving dolphins (the other was a male) were treated for lungworms (Skrjabinalius sp.) with levamisole hydrochloride (9 mg/kg body mass injected s.c.). The treatment apparently was successful, as necropsy of the male, which died 8 days later, showed no lungworms but evidence of an immediate prior infestation. The male was given levamisole hydrochloride alone and reacted violently, whereas the female received diazepam at the the same time (5 mg i.m.) for the spinal deviation and demonstrated no unusual response. Necropsy of the 3 dead specimens showed verminous pneumonia, gastroenteritis, gastric ulcers and pancreatic fibrosis. No corpora lutea or corpora albicantia were found on the ovaries of the dead females and they were judged to be immature. Sperm in the testes of the male indicated that it was mature. Based on a daily average food consumption of 3.6 kg/day, energy requirements for an animal weighing 35 kg are 3300 kcal/day.

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