Page last updated at 12:56 GMT, Monday, 23 June 2008 13:56 UK

Clyde dolphin 'unlikely to live'


The dolphin is heading towards the city centre

A dolphin which has got into difficulty in the River Clyde is "unlikely" to survive, a vet has warned.

Patrick Pollock, a fellow in equine surgery at Glasgow University, made the assessment after inspecting the Risso's dolphin from a fire brigade dinghy.

He said the mammal was "emaciated" and had a "nasty laceration" to its head.

The 10ft-long creature first appeared on Sunday and has been swimming further inland. So far, all attempts to usher it back out to sea have failed.

Mr Pollock said it had been quite difficult to get close to the dolphin but what he had seen was not good.

He said: "Essentially the animal looks fairly emaciated. It's got quite a nasty laceration over its head.

The dolphin (picture by Alan Morrison)
The mammal has been spotted swimming in the Clyde

"I think it's unlikely (to survive) and not just because of the way it looks but just because of where it is.

"It's very unusual to have an animal in the upper part of the Clyde and particularly this species. It's usually found in deep water.

"These animals feed on squid and other animals that live in the deep sea area. We know from previous experience that once we see these animals coming up a river like the Clyde there's something far wrong."

Andy Ireland from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue also inspected the mammal.

He said: "We're going to play a waiting game and maybe we'll get a chance to intervene or maybe it will proceed back down the river.

"The chances are it may strand somewhere, that's the best case scenario.

"If the dolphin came ashore we could actually get down there to it, get a good look at it and actually assess its condition a lot better."

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