PHUKET: A dwarf sperm whale that washed up on Patong Beach this morning died from ingesting a wide variety of man-made items, researchers at the Phuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC) today told the Gazette.
The whale was discovered by local residents on the beach near the Soi Bangla intersection about 6 am.
Villagers and Kusoldharm Foundation rescue workers pushed the mammal back into the water, but the whale beached itself again a short time later.
Arriving about 7:30 am, PMBC biologists, led by veterinarian Sontaya Manawattana, rushed the whale by truck to the PMBC for treatment.
PMBC staff administered tranquilizers and other drugs to the whale for the trip to the Center at Cape Panwa, but the animal went into shock and is believed to have died just before reaching the facility.
Efforts to revive the two-meter-long, 98-kilogram female in a pool at the PMBC failed.
Kanjana Adulaynukosol, Head of the PMBC’s Marine Endangered Species Unit, said that an examination of the whale’s carcass found what appears to have been a chronic infection in its uterus.
However, the main cause of death was likely bleeding and inflammation of the whale’s stomach, which was densely packed with 1.6 kilograms of man-made debris, including rope, bottle caps and plastic bags, one of the latter produced in Malaysia and another bearing a United Nations logo.
Researchers believe that the trash rendered digestion impossible and was the main cause of the whale’s beaching and subsequent death.
Click here for our PGTV report.
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