Beloved Thai baby dugong dies with plastic in stomach

18 Août, 2019, 10:57 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Beloved Thai baby dugong dies with plastic in stomach

This file picture shows Mariam being cared for by park officials and veterinarians from the Phuket Marine Biological Centre on Libong island, Trang province.

Last week, however, Thailand's Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) posted on Facebook that the dugong was sick and refusing food.

The young creature became an internet hit after images of biologists embracing and feeding her with milk and grass spread across social media.

An autopsy showed that pieces of plastic caused obstructions in baby dugong's intestine tract, leading to inflammation and gas build-up. A team of veterinarians tried for hours to revive her, but to no avail; Marium was declared dead just after midnight on Saturday.

Fans could watch Marium on a live feed, receiving veterinary treatment, and being fed up to 15 times a day.

An official of the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources hugs Marium, a lost baby dugong.

Marium was found motherless by a beach in southern Thailand in April.

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"She's attached and tries to swim and cling to the boat as if it was her mother and when we are swimming she would come and tuck under our arms", Nantarika Chansue, director of the Aquatic Animal Research Center at Chulalongkorn University, who was advising Marium's caregivers, told the AP.

Marium is not the first marine animal to die or become injured from ocean plastics.

Last year, a pilot whale in Thailand died after eating more than 80 plastic bags.

According to National Geographic, it can be found in warm coastal waters from East Africa to Australia, including the Red Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.

The dugong is a species of marine mammal similar to the American manatee and can grow to about 3.4 meters (11 feet) in length.

"Her death will remind Thais and people all over the world not to dispose trash into the oceans", he said.

"She taught us how to love and then went away as if saying please tell everyone to look after us and conserve her species".

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