Villagers in southern Thailand helped a stranded dugong back to sea on Tuesday. The animal had several deep scratches and cuts on his body which were bleeding.
The Trang province villagers poured seawater on the dugong to keep him cool and then pushed the animal back to sea. The dugong swam away when the villagers managed to get him back into the Andaman Sea.
The marine mammal is listed as threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Human intrusions, tourist activity, and marine pollution make life difficult for dugongs. Around 170 dugongs, who are cousins of manatees, also known as sea cows, are estimated to live in and around Trang province.
One of the villagers said he had found another stranded dugong earlier this year, but that one was already dead, so he was happy they could save this animal.
It’s unknown why the animal was injured and if he survived after returning to sea.
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