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Marine experts confirm dwarf fin whale killed by human activity

Marine experts confirm dwarf fin whale killed by human activity

PHUKET: Experts at Phuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC) have determined that the dwarf fin whale whose body was found washed ashore just north of Koh Lanta last Monday (Jan 6) died from injuries inflicted by human activity.

By The Phuket News

Tuesday 14 January 2020, 10:21AM

Local fisherman Sakda Thaweemuang reported finding the whale’s carcass washed ashore at Thung Talay Beach, in Moo 3, Tambon Koh Klang, on the mainland just north of Koh Lanta.

The body of the infant dwarf fin whale – also called an Omura's whale – was found with scratches and a broken lower jaw. (See story here.)

The whale’s remains were brought to the PMBC, at Cape Panwa , for further examination and to determine the cause of death.

The Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) reported that the whale was a male, about one year old and measuring 3.6 metres long.

“From examination, officers found a big wound near the right part of its lower jaw, and its jawbone was broken,” the DMCR noted in its report.

“There were also some scratches which officers believe may indicate that the whale had become tangled up in and dragged by a rope,” the report added.

“The large wound near the whale’s lower jaw were infected. There were also a lot of bubbles in its windpipe, indicating that it choked before dying,” the report said.

“Examination of internal organs showed abnormalities in the spleen, which showed signs of blood loss and infection in the body.

“No food was found in the digestive tract. This may be because of the wound and broken jaw, so it was unable to ingest any food,” the report noted.

“Therefore, the cause of death was human activity. Some skin and flesh samples have been taken to look for metals and marine biotoxins,” the report added.

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