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Baby Dugong “Marium” Dies from Shock and Eating Plastic Waste

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“ The baby dugong death will remind Thais and people all over the world not to dispose plastic into the oceans.”

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BANGKOK – A baby dugong nurtured by marine experts after it was found lost near a beach in southern Thailand has died. Biologists believe was a combination of shock and ingesting plastic waste, officials said Saturday.

The baby dugong named “Marium” and became a hit in Thailand after images of biologists embracing and feeding her spread across social media.

Veterinarians and volunteers had set out in canoes to feed Marium up to 15 times a day while also giving her health checks.

Last week, she was found bruised after being chased and supposedly attacked by a male dugong during the mating season.

The baby dugong was brought in for treatment in Krabi Province

An autopsy showed a big amount of plastic waste in the baby dugong intestine. Which could also have played a part in her death as it led to gastritis and blood infection, he said.

“She must have thought these plastics were edible,” Jatuporn said.

The dugong is a species of marine mammal similar to the American manatee. Its conservation status is listed as vulnerable.

Natural Resources Minister Varawut Silpa-arcpha said at a news conference that Marium’s corpse will be stuffed for research purposes. The baby dugong’s death saddens the whole nation and the world.

“ The baby dugong death will remind Thais and people all over the world not to dispose plastic into the oceans.”

Source: The Associated Press