EnvironmentPhang NgaThailand

Pod of dolphins makes an appearance in Phang Nga

Spinner dolphins spotted in Phang Nga, photo by MGR Online.

A pod of dolphins made an appearance in Phang Nga‘s Mu Ko Surin National Park in the Khura Buri district, much to the delight of tourists.

A tour boat was travelling through the park when the captain spotted the dolphins. The captain slowed the speedboat to let the tourists admire the creatures. The dolphins stayed to hang out around the boat for more than ten minutes, allowing the excited tourists to take in the site of the dolphins swimming together.

According to Prarop Plang Ngan, the head of the Khao Lampi-Hat Thai Mueang National Park, the dolphins were most likely Spinner dolphins. These dolphins are commonly found in the Mu Ko Surin and Mu Ko Similan National Park areas.

Spinner dolphins are found in warm waters across the globe. They are named for their acrobatic displays, which often include spinning jumps out of the water. Spinner dolphins are known for their distinctive, long, thin beaks, which are slightly curved.

Dolphins are a beloved and often sought-after sight for tourists visiting Thailand’s coastal regions.

In September last year, when Krabi’s iconic Maya Bay was closed to tourists, a pod of 10 Bottlenose dolphins showed up there. The pod was spotted south of the bay by Hat Noppharat Thara – Mu Koh Phi Phi National Park staff.

In addition to the spinner dolphins and bottlenose dolphins found in Thailand, the country is also home to the Irrawaddy dolphin, a critically endangered species that lives in the Mekong and Chao Phraya rivers. There are as few as 14 Irrawaddy dolphins in Songkhla Lake. The situation is so serious that the World Bank has become involved.

Last month, global dolphin experts met with local agencies at the World Bank office in Bangkok to come up with better ways to make sure Irrawaddy dolphins survive, and even flourish. The meeting agreed that Thailand would carry out extensive research with a joint declaration on the protected area, patrols, fishing and awareness.

It was reported that a new bridge planned across Songkhla Lake would include the installation of sediment curtains, a dolphin watch patrol boat, warning alerts, and underwater acoustic recorders.

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.