Rare finless porpoise found beached in Trat

Rare finless porpoise found beached in Trat

A young finless porpoise is measured after it was found beached in Trat. It is being cared for by coastal resources research staff. (Photo courtesy Department of Marine and Coastal Resources Thailand)
A young finless porpoise is measured after it was found beached in Trat. It is being cared for by coastal resources research staff. (Photo courtesy Department of Marine and Coastal Resources Thailand)

A young, malnourished, finless porpoise is being cared for at a marine research centre after it beached on Sunday at Ban Ta Nuek in Khlong Yai district of Trat.

The rare porpoise is thought by experts to be no more than a month old. It weighs about a kilogramme and measures 54cm in length, says Jatuporn Buruspat, director-general of the Department of the Marine and Coastal Resources.

The animal was found on Ban Ta Nuek beach. It was unable to swim back out to sea. He said the porpoise was taken to the coastal resources research centre in the province where it was given milk rich in fat. It was also placed in a special cradle to help it float and breathe and placed under a close watch.

Mr Jatuporn said the porpoise would be released back into the sea after it has regained strength. Vets were determining the sex. There has been a critical decline in the population of rare species of marine animals in the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea. This has triggered concerns that some species are on course for extinction. Many porpoises and whales have beached due to sickness from bacterial infections.

Phuchong Sarusatheechaikul, director of the coastal resources management office 1, said porpoises live close to coastal areas and estuaries. They are listed as endangered species by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.

Although finless porpoises are found in many areas of the Gulf of Thailand, particularly in Trat, they are not easily spotted because of the lack of fin.


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