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Striped dolphin dies at Mai Khao

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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MAI KHAO: The carcass of a female striped dolphin was discovered washed ashore at Baan Dan on Saturday morning – two days after 11 false killer whales beached at Koh Racha.

Phuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC) staff retrieved the dead animal and moved it to the PMBC at Cape Panwa after being notified by a villager at about 7 am.

An autopsy performed by PMBC staff yesterday revealed that the dolphin had sustained five broken bones around her neck area, likely caused by some kind of collision, which ultimately led to the animal’s death.

PMBC veterinarian Sontaya Manawattana said, “She died two or three days before she was found. She had many injuries from fishing nets… Her lungs were infected by parasites and she probably had no energy left to swim, so maybe a boat hit her and she died.

“The carcass weighs 50 kilograms and is 1.9 meters long. She was three to five years old, which makes her a teenager for a dolphin,” he added.

Less than 10 striped dolphins (stenella coeruleoalba) met their fate around Phuket’s coast in 2007. This latest incident marks the first reported death this year, K. Sontaya said.

Striped dolphins are a common sight in the sea off Phuket, Phang Nga and Krabi. “If we start to find dead striped dolphins more often, then we would be very worried about this particular species,” said K. Sontaya.

The striped dolphin is listed as “Conservation dependent” in the “Lower risk” category of conservation status as ranked by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.

 

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