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MOm Hellenic Society for the Study and Protection of the Monk Seal

25 November 2004


Monk seal pup Hippocrates dies in rehab



Hippocrates in the MOm rescue station on Alonissos.

Orphaned monk seal pup Hippocrates, rescued on the Greek island of Kos in October, died suddenly on Monday 22 November with symptoms of acute enteritis [see Orphaned pup “Hippocrates” rescued on Kos, TMG 7 (2): November 2004].

A necropsy, performed in the Veterinary School of Thessaloniki by a specialized veterinary pathologist, Dr. N. Papaioannou, confirmed that the enteritis had resulted in cardiac pause and lung edema. The seal, which had been under care in MOm’s rehabilitation centre on Alonissos for the past one and a half months, showed progress in development and behavior, though a delayed increase in body weight.

Two days before his death, Hippocrates displayed the first symptoms of enteritis, which were treated with a light diet. Sadly, on the morning of the 22 November, he showed acute symptoms and died three hours later, the swiftness of the animal’s deterioration effectively preventing emergency intervention by the rehabilitation team. Samples, to be analyzed histologically (by the Veterinary School of Thessaloniki) and virologically (by Erasmus University, Rotterdam) may reveal the underlying cause of the enteritis. Hopefully, these results may aid in the rehabilitation of other orphaned monk seals in the future.


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