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  • Writer's pictureThalassophile official

The orphaned dugong, who captured the hearts of many, dies from consumption of plastic

The orphaned dugong, named Mariam was rescued earlier this year in Thailand, after being washed up in shallow waters. The photos of her being affectionate and playful towards her rescuers quickly went viral, capturing the hearts of many.

Mariam sadly passed away on Saturday due to an infection, which was caused by small bits of plastic that lined her stomach. The plastic caused obstruction to her stomach, leading to inflammation and gas build-up.

The eight month old Dugong, appeared to be unwell a week ago when she was refusing to eat. She went into shock on Saturday before passing away, and efforts to resuscitate her were unsuccessful.

Nantarika Chansue, one of the vets who helped to look after Mariam, said: "Everyone is saddened by the loss, but it reiterates that we need to save the environment to save these rare animals."

An autopsy was carried out showing several pieces of plastic, one piece even measured to be 20cm long. The death of Mariam is a tragedy that should not have happened, and reiterates that we all now need to really work together to save the environment. There are sadly only a few hundred dugongs now left in Thailand.

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