The body of the female dolphin was found on the rocks in the Sakhu section of the national park last Wednesday (Mar 17) with deep cuts across the back of its head and another long gash all the way to its tail.
Initially it was believed that the wounds and the subsequent death of the dolphin had been administered by humans, a suspicion enhanced when a local resident reported to police seeing four Myanmar nationals in the area, one of whom was carrying a blood-stained knife, who fled when he confronted them.
However, after further examination by the Phuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC) it was confirmed that the dolphin had already died of illness prior to being washed ashore or cut. Officers at the PMBC did not, however, confirm what illness exactly had caused the dolphin’s demise.
It appears that the dolphin had then been discovered and the cuts administered – whether this was by the four the witness alluded to or not is unknown at this time.
“We have already informed Sakhu Police, and they are still investigating,” assistant park chief Chaiphat Chuaidaeng told The Phuket News today.
“At this stage we do not know who is responsible for making the cuts and we must allow police to do their work,” he added.
However, Mr Chaiphat did state that the suspects would no doubt face charges when found by police.
“In a case such as this, the suspect(s) will be charged with possession of the dead body of a protected wildlife species.
“Spotted dolphins are classified as protected animals under the Wildlife Conservation and Protection Act 2019,” Mr Chaiphat noted.