Beached and injured dugong rescued by Thai villagers

STORY: The stranded dugong, which is an endangered mammal, also known as a sea cow, had several deep scratches and cuts on its body which were bleeding.

The Trang province villagers, who found the dugong on the beach, poured seawater on it to keep it cool and placed it on a tarpaulin to help maneuver it.

They then helped it into the Andaman Sea, swimming alongside it for a few moments. Villagers on the beach laughed as they saw the rare mammal swim away.

One of the villagers involved in the rescue said he had found another stranded dugong earlier this year, but it was already dead, so he was happy to be able to save this animal.

Dugongs - listed as threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature - are a rare sighting in southern Thailand, with human intrusions, tourist activity, and marine pollution making life difficult for the marine mammals. Around 170 dugongs are estimated to live in and around Trang province.

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