Shedd Veterinarian Helps Relocate Bolivian River Dolphins

Steve Miller
March 13, 2019 - 6:00 am
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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Scientists have given physical exams to Bolivian river dolphins, and a veterinarian from the Shedd Aquarium was part of that historic venture that saved the mammals from a shrinking habitat.

Bolivia is where Dr. Julie Sheldon from the Shedd Aquarium joined colleagues from other institutions.

Bolivian river dolphins are very different from ocean dolphins.

"Their eyes are very small and simple,” Sheldon told WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller. “They have very interesting-looking teeth that are dirtier. They're sharp. They're kind of intimidating.”

The teeth of a Bolivian river dolphin (courtesy: Shedd Aquarium)

The animals vary in color from gray to a very light pink color, she said.

Bolivian river dolphins are now an endangered species. Sheldon and her team managed to move six from a lake that is shrinking to the Rio Grande River.

She says the plan is to try return all the dolphins to the river. The team was able to put satellite tracking devices on three dolphins.