Connect with us


Disoriented false killer whales 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.

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Road deaths36 mins ago

Innocent woman killed after high-speed race near Bangkok

Crime2 hours ago

Police raid Chinese porn studio in Chon Buri, 4 arrested

Bangkok2 hours ago

Blaze at US office near German Embassy in Bangkok

Sponsored3 hours ago

Enjoy a splashing time and immerse yourself in Thai Mythology in Andamanda Phuket

Expats2 hours ago

Aussie man plunges to death from 17th floor of Pattaya hotel

Thailand3 hours ago

More details emerge on Deadly Fire in NightClub | GMT

Chon Buri16 hours ago

Faulty wiring, poor construction, unsafe materials in Mountain B fire

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Chon Buri16 hours ago

Mountain B: Owner out on bail, Bangkok club inspection, viral moment

Central Thailand18 hours ago

Thai woman murders her abusive boyfriend in front of a monk

North East18 hours ago

UPDATE: Sexy Thai model fined 5,000 baht for dancing topless in club

Thailand18 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Poll says 64% Thais had enough with PM Prayut

North East19 hours ago

10 year old killed & 5 injured after pickup hits motorbike sidecar

Crime19 hours ago

Court releases Mountain B owner on bail for 300k baht following fire in eastern Thailand

Coronavirus (Covid-19)19 hours ago

Thailand has 5 BA.2.75 antibody-resistant Covid-19 sub-variant

Tourism19 hours ago

UK student conquers mountain in Thailand blindfolded

Home Services20 hours ago

Top 5 reasons to get a maid service in Thailand

Thailand11 months ago

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

Thailand1 year ago

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

Tourism1 year ago

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

Phuket1 year ago

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

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand1 year ago

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

Tourism1 year 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