Bangkok, Aug 17 (IANS) An eight-month-old sick dugong named “Marium” whose fight for recovery won hearts in Thailand has died from an infection after pieces of plastic were found in her intestine.
The baby dugong’s death was announced on Saturday on the Facebook page of the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources. It died from a blood infection after midnight after going into shock.
An autopsy showed that pieces of plastic caused obstructions in baby dugong’s intestine tract, leading to inflammation and gas build-up. There was pus in its lung.
The Department of Marine and Coastal Resources said that Marium’s death should serve as a warning about the effects of plastic waste on wildlife.
The orphaned dugong was rescued in April after being washed up in shallow waters in Krabi, south Thailand.
It was taken under the care of veterinarians in the sea off Libong Island and was trained to improve survival skills in the natural habitat.
Marium, whose name means “lady of the sea”, is the first dugong to have been nurtured by humans in Thailand.
Aged around four months when she was found, Marium became famous after photos of marine biologists embracing and feeding it with milk and sea grass spread across social media.
The baby dugong’s story impressed Thai netizens as it was dubbed “Thailand’s sweetheart” by the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources.