Thailand: Female dugong's death 'caused by illness'

METHEE MUANGKAEW Bangkok Post 14 Jul 17;

TRANG - A female dugong found on a beach in Kan Tang district this week later died as a result of various ailments, veterinarians said Thursday.

The endangered mammal was the third dead dugong reported in the southern province this year.

A forensic examination revealed the mammal was about 50 years old, weighed around 300kg and was suffering from various chronic ailments, veterinarians from the Phuket Marine Biological Centre said.

The symptoms included lung infections, swollen lymph nodes, parasitic infections in the air passage and the nose, a well as inflammation of the intestines, womb, ovaries and urinary bladder, said Prachuap Khosarat, director of the marine resources conservation section at the Seventh Marine and Coastal Resources Administration Office in Trang.

The dugong's intestines contained gas that caused the body to swell and float before being washed ashore in Ban Pak Khlong Ban Phrao in tambon Koh Libong on Tuesday, he said.

The dugong wasn't pregnant as was first suspected, he added.

Although it was still alive when it was found on the beach, the dugong appeared very sick and frail, according to Mr Prachuap.

Despite attempts by a veterinary team to save its life, the animal died after an operation that took around 15 hours.

The team did everything it could to save the animal, Mr Prachuap said.

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