Lead toxicosis in a captive bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) consequent to ingestion of air gun pellets

Alan Shlosberg*, Michel Bellaiche, Sharon Regev, Rivka Gal, Maika Brizzi, Vera Hanji, Liliana Zaidel, Abraham Nyska

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A captive bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) in a dolphinarium in Tel Aviv, Israel, had signs of anorexia, weight loss and a reluctance to train over a 4-week period in June 1995 and died shortly thereafter. On necropsy, it had an enlarged, yellow discolored liver, and about 55 air gun pellets in the second stomach. The pellets were composed of 40% lead. Samples of liver and kidney cortex contained 3.6 and 4.2 μ/g lead, respectively. There was hemosiderosis in the liver and kidneys, status spongiosus in the brain, and vacuolization in the optic nerve; acid-fast intranuclear inclusion bodies were seen in the kidneys. We propose that chronic lead toxicosis had been induced after the gradual dissolution of the lead-based pellets in the acid environment of the stomach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-139
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Wildlife Diseases
Volume33
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1997
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Air gun pellets
  • Bottlenose dolphin
  • Dolphinarium
  • Lead
  • Toxicosis
  • Tursiops truncatus

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