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Maya Bay dugong dies from suspected boat propeller wound

Maya Bay dugong dies from suspected boat propeller wound

PHUKET: A young female dugong found at Maya Bay died while being transported back to the Phuket Marine Biological Centre (PMBC) yesterday (Oct 27).

By Tanyaluk Sakoot

Wednesday 28 October 2020, 04:52PM

National park officers conducting a routine patrol spotted the injured dugong at Maya Bay at about 9:35am on Monday (Oct 26), explained Prayoon Phongphan, Chief of the Hat Noppharat Thara – Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park.

The officers called in marine life exports from the PMBC, but attempts to catch the young dugong failed, he added.

The officers continued their efforts and finally managed to catch the wounded mammal early yesterday afternoon, he said.

“The dugong was about 1.7 metres long and weighed about 115.5kg,” Chief Prayoon said.

The dugoing had a large wound along her back measuring about 20 centimetres long and seven centimetres wide, he added.

“She was very weak and had a very serious infection. The wound seemed to be about two weeks old,” Chief Prayoon said.

The officers were bringing the dugong back to the PMBC by speedboat when she went into shock and died, he added.

Chief Prayoon said that in his opinion the wound was not likely caused by a boat propeller.

“If it were caused by a propeller, the body would have had more wounds,” he said.

Chief Prayoon offered no other explanation for the wound.

PMBC Chief Kongkiat Kittiwatanawong, however, said that in his opinion the wond was caused by a boat propeller.

“We have examined the body and believe the dugong was about two to three years old. She had suffered eight fractures to her rear, right ribs,” he said. 

“The wound was likely caused by the dugong being hit by a boat and the boat’s propeller,” Chief Knogkiat said.

“The wound led to internal infections, and the algae covering of her body after suffering this wound indicates that she had stayed somewhere in Phang Nga bay more than a month,” he said.

Chief Kongkiat said marine biologists at the PMBC were conducting more tests on the dugong’s remains.

“Next I am waiting for the results of forensic tests which should provide us with clearer information,” he said.

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