Connect with us


Disoriented dolphins beach on Koh Racha



KOH RACHA YAI: Researchers at the Phuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC) are today examining the remains of a False Killer Whale that was one of some 20 that beached on Koh Racha Yai, some 25 kilometers south of Phuket, late yesterday afternoon.

Local hotel staff and tourists rescued another 10 beached animals that could not make their way back to deeper water on their own.

False Killer Whales are large “open-ocean dolphins” known to attack and kill other cetaceans with their distinctive array of 44 teeth.

PMBC biologist Kongkiat Kittiwattanawong told the Gazette that about 40 dolphins were spotted about 5 pm in the shallow waters off Ao Paktok, where 11 of them later beached.

“Almost all the whales that came ashore were three to four meters long. The longest was 4.2m,” K. Kongkiat said.

As most of the whales appeared healthy, it was very unlikely that the mass beaching was the result of illness, he added.

“They are social animals that live in large groups and all members obediently follow their leader, so if the leader beaches the others follow,” he said.

The animal that died was a 2.8m female, probably about 10 years old, he added.

“The animal went into shock and we couldn’t save her. There were no visible signs of illness. We will do an autopsy this afternoon,” he said earlier today.

K. Kongkiat said the leader may have become confused trying to negotiate a narrow channel and found itself unable to return to deeper water due to big waves and strong onshore currents.

The 10 stranded dolphins were taken by truck to the relatively calm waters of Ao Teua on the other side of the island, where they were given injections to prevent infection and released around midnight.

“After their release they seemed to gain strength. That was the last time we saw them, though we continued to patrol the shoreline by boat,” K. Kongkiat said.

False Killer Whales typically live for about 50 years and are seldom spotted close to the shoreline, he added.

There is a healthy population of the dolphins in the Indian Ocean and they can be seen off the coasts of Burma and Bangladesh, as well as Thailand, K. Kongkiat explained..

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) lists False Killer Whales’ conservation status as “least concern”.


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Video4 hours ago

Thailand News Today | 9 year olds smoke cannabis on Pattaya Beach in Thailand

Economy5 hours ago

Thai baht soars to six-month high against US dollar

Pattaya5 hours ago

Motorcycle taxi riders rally against unlicensed ride-share app drivers in Pattaya

Sponsored13 hours ago

Where you can get cannabis in Bangkok

Pollution6 hours ago

Over 100 tonnes of garbage estimated near Phuket Fishing Port

Thailand6 hours ago

Stop giving monkeys cigarettes, beg locals in Lop Buri, Thailand

Thailand6 hours ago

World Cup broadcasting soap opera drama rumbles on

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Transport7 hours ago

Thai Vietjet plans new routes to China, India, Japan, Vietnam

Crime7 hours ago

Police arrest weight loss pill executive for causing 4 deaths in Thailand

Phang Nga7 hours ago

Phang Nga officials find more leatherback turtle eggs

Tourism8 hours ago

Thai AirAsia Melbourne and Sydney connections take to the air

Bangkok8 hours ago

Fireworks to dazzle Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River area on New Year’s Eve

Medical8 hours ago

Resurgence of AIDS in Thailand overshadows UNAIDS summit

Phuket8 hours ago

Thai VietJet cancels Phuket – Bangkok flight last minute over 1 extra passenger

Food9 hours ago

Thailand’s top cheesemaker toasts his own success

Crime9 hours ago

New details unfolding over alleged assault by Pattaya loan sharks

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11