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Sick dolphin shows slight improvement

Belle, the sick dolphin that arrived Monday at Clearwater Marine Aquarium, showed a slight improvement Tuesday morning when she began swimming on her own, without the support of volunteers.

Aquarium spokeswoman Marianne Klingel said the nearly 8-foot, 243-pound adult mammal is eating better, but remains in critical condition with respiratory, gastrointestinal and cardiac disorders.

The dolphin was rescued July 14 when she was found stranded on Sanibel Island. She was treated at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota until her transfer Monday to Clearwater for long-term care.

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