11 July 2024

The latest dugong to be found dead, in the sea off Phi Phi Island in Thailand’s southern province of Krabi on Sunday, has been diagnosed of having died from stomach infection and chronic inflammation of the intestines, according to Jatuporn Buruspat, director-general of the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR).

The adult male dugong was measured at 299 cm long and weighed 398kgs when it was found by a fishing vessel. It was taken to the Marine and Coastal Resources Research and Development Centre for an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

Three veterinarians performed the autopsy, which revealed that the dugong suffered heart failure and had a gastrointestinal infection. Undigested seagrass was found in its stomach.

Seven dugongs have been found on beaches or in the seas off Trang and Krabi provinces in the last 2-3 months. Most were dead but two, Mariam and Yamil, were alive at the time of their discovery and have since become stars on social media through livestreaming by the DMCR.

Newly-appointed Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Varavuth Silpa-archa, is due to visit Andaman coastal provinces for discussions with officials to develop additional measures to protect dugongs.