KARON: The charred carcass of a male bottlenose dolphin, believed to have been dragged ashore by fishermen hoping to barbecue it, was found on Karon Beach on Tuesday.
Kongkiat Kittiwattawong, a biologist at the Phuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC) at Cape Panwa, told the Gazette that the dolphin was about 20-25 years old. It was 2.5 meters long and weighed about 80 kilograms.
The carcass was found by a beach guard. It was lying on rocks and was wrapped in burnt coconut leaves, and had a nylon rope tied around its tail.
K. Kongkiat said that he believes the dolphin died from an illness before being dragged ashore.
“I believe this dolphin was sick, but we cannot conduct an autopsy because it has been dead for about five days,” he said. “The organs are too decomposed. We will study the bones in order to learn more about this species.
“I think that the fishermen found this dolphin already dead in the sea from its illness, and they used a nylon rope tied around its tail to drag it ashore before trying to barbecue it. Usually dolphin is not good to eat because the flesh is tough,” K. Kongkiat said.
“More than 90% of this kind of dolphin that are found dead and washed ashore have died because of illness,” he added.
K. Kongkiat said that fishermen in Thailand did not hunt dolphins to eat, although there are many schools of bottlenose dolphins, usually in groups of between five and 15, in Phang Nga Bay and south of Phuket.
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