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Plastic bag possibly killed dolphin, says Phuket expert

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: A striped dolphin found washed up on Nai Yang Beach on Tuesday most likely died from the consumption of a plastic bag, explained marine experts today.

“It was about 15 years old, 2.45 meters long and approximately 90 kilograms. It had a wound near its eye,” said Patcharaporn Gaewmong, a Phuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC) veterinarian. “The results from blood samples we took showed that it died from a blood infection.”

Veterinarians have yet to determine the exact illness.

“In most cases where dolphins have these symptoms, they have usually eaten a plastic bag that they mistook as a jellyfish,” Dr Patcharaporn said.

“Clear plastic bags thrown in the sea by a human can look very similar to a jellyfish, and dolphins love eating jelly fish. The plastic bag will affect the intestines and, if they do not receive any treatment, they will die.”

Dr Patcharaporn noted that plastic bags and other rubbish are often thrown into the sea by people on tour boats.

“I ask that tour operators and tourists please help by not throwing rubbish into the sea,” Dr Patcharaporn said.

“This can affect marine life, especially dolphins and sea turtles. If the tourists keep littering the sea, I am afraid there will be no turtles or dolphins for future generations to enjoy.”

— Winai Sarot

 

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