Malaysia: Dead manatee found on Tanjung Logok beach

HALIM SAID New Straits Times 19 Feb 16;

KOTA TINGGI: The carcass of a manatee was found washed ashore at a beach in Tanjung Logok here around 2.50pm today.

According to Johor Fisheries Department director Munir Mohd Nawi, the carcass of the animal measured 2.33m in length with a diameter of 0.84m.

Munir said the manatee carcass was found by villagers in the area who informed the department about the finding.

"The manatee was believed to have died before being washed ashore as it had started decomposing. The stomach area of the animal was already rotten," he said.

He said an investigation paper will be opened to investigate the cause of death of the manatee and why it had washed ashore in Johor.

This is the second deep sea marine creature and endangered marine life that was found on the beaches of Johor after a Sei whale was found beached on Pantai Semerah beach in Batu Pahat, after it was first spotted in Pontian.

[wildsingapore comment: The dead creature is probably a dugong. Manatees are only found in the Americas and Western Africa. Dugongs are not 'deep sea' marine creatures as they feed on seagrasses found in shallow seas.]

Dead Dugong Washed Ashore In Kota Tinggi
Bernama 19 Feb 16;

JOHOR BAHARU, Feb 19 (Bernama) -- A dead dugong was found washed ashore at Pantai Tanjung Logok, near Kota Tinggi Friday.

Johor Fisheries Department director, Munir Mohd Nawi said the animal known by its scientific name Dugong Dugon was found by members of the public at about 10 am before they alerted the department.

"After being informed, fisheries officers went to Pantai Tanjung Logok and found a dugong carcass on the beach. It had started to decompose," he said when contacted.

Munir said dugongs were usually injured and killed after being hit by boat engine blade but the department would wait for a post-mortem to identify the actual cause of dugong's death.

He said judging from the external conditions, the dugong was believed dead for more than 24 hours.

He said the department had so far been unable to determine where the dugong came from and did not rule out the possibility it was dead much earlier before drifting onto the beach.

Touching on the dugong species, Munir said the Johor state government had allocated RM1 million this year to develop a dugong sanctuary in the area between Pulau Tinggi and Pulau Sibu, near Mersing.

"Under the sanctuary plan, the centre which is expected to start operation this year could accommodate 50 dugongs," he said.

According to Munir, the Johor Fisheries Department and the Johor state governmment would be developing the area as a sanctuary as it is rich in seaweeds which is a major food source of dugongs.


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