Phuket autopsy for large dugong

PHUKET: A large female dugong measuring almost three meters long and weighing more than a third of a ton died off the coast of Trang and was brought to Phuket for examination yesterday.

The crew of a squid fishing boat found the dugong dying in the sea between Koh Libong and Koh Laoliang in yesterday morning.

By the time officials from the Office of Marine and Coastal Resources in Trang arrived to treat the creature, she was already dead.

The officers examined the body and filed a police report. The dugong was sent to Phuket Marine Biological Center in Cape Panwa, arriving around 8pm yesterday.

Phaothep Cherdsukjai, a marine biologist at PMBC, said the creature was around 40 years old, making it middle aged, as dugongs have the same life spans as humans.

There were some suspicious scratches found on the right side of her body, Mr Phaothep said.

“Since the beginning of this year, six dugongs have been found dead in the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand. Most of them were killed by fishing equipment such as trawl nets,” he said.

An autopsy will be carried out to determine the cause of the dugong’s death tomorrow morning.

— Atchaa Khamlo

Phuket News

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