Care of dugong ‘Mariam’ set to go live today (Sunday)
The Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) and the Telephone Organization of Thailand (TOT) will run a trial live stream of young dugongs ‘Mariam’ and ‘Yamil’ today, to test the Internet signal and CCTV cameras at their locations in Trang and Phuket.
If all works well, the DMCR and TOT will put the two baby dugongs on Facebook live 24/7 so everyone can watch the marine orphans’ progress.
Meanwhile, veterinarians working shifts to babysit Mariam, the 6-month old dugong on Koh Libong of Trang Province, are concerned about Mariam’s feeding behavior as she nibbles on her flippers when she gets hungry at night.
Dr. Nantarika Chansue, director of the Aquatic Animal Disease Research Centre, in the faculty of Veterinary medicine at Chulalongkorn University, said that she was concerned about small cuts that have been noticed on her flippers.
The team is observing her feeding behavior and think that the reason for the injuries is that she gnaws on them when she gets hungry at night. Dr. Nantarika said that a pond is being built for Mariam. Once it is completed, the vets will be able to feed her at night and they hope she will no longer bite her flippers.
In order to ensure Mariam’s health and safety, the vets perform regular health checks on her. She is reported to be feeding well and has been consuming more than three litres of milk and 300-400g of seagrass each day. Mariam has also started to feed herself on seagrass.