Orphaned baby dugong dies from ingesting plastic

Posted on 21 August 2019

An orphaned dugong calf named Marium, meaning ‘lady of the sea’ in Thai, was found beached near Krabi province in Thailand earlier this year. She sadly has died after going into shock from ingesting plastic.

Thailand’s Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) posted on Facebook that the dugong was sick and refusing food, reports CNN. She passed away on Saturday 17 August.

An autopsy revealed that her stomach contained pieces of plastic, which caused inflammation and gas. Additionally she had developed a respiratory infection and a build up of pus.

Veterinarians worked tirelessly to treat the respiratory infection but were unable to save the baby dugong.

Dugongs are a species of sea cow and are ‘vulnerable’ on the IUCN Red List. Environmental threats such as pollution, habitat loss and hunting are the main areas of concern when it comes to preserving this species.

In Thailand, Marium became a symbol for the conservation of the oceans and marine life. In a Facebook post, her veterinarian Nantarika Chansue 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.’


Image source: Twitter @lucygwen_gillis

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