Dugong carcass found people believe it’s a set-up
The skin and intestines of a dugong have been found in Trang province by officials of the Ko Libong Non-Hunting Area
On patrol in an attempt to find evidence to prove that the rare animal has been targeted by hunters or endangered by fishing equipment, but the local people said this might be a set-up arranged by the officials.
Chaiyapruek Veeravong, chief of the Ko Libong Non-Hunting Area, said after three days on patrol he and 12 other wildlife officials found the skin and intestines of a dugong hung in a mangrove forest at Pak Khlong To Nun in Tambon Ko Libong of Kantang district on Oct 22 at 4 pm.
He said the dugong was believed to weigh around 200 kilograms and died two days previously. Mr. Chaiyapruek brought the carcass to file a complaint with Kantang police to look for the hunters. The carcass was sent to be kept for study at the Rajamangala University of Technology Srivijaya, Trang campus.
He said the patrol has been conducted to look for evidence to confirm a remark by the director-general of the National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department that there were hunters preying on dugongs for meat and bone and some dugongs had died from being trapped in fishing gear, leading to the reduction of the dugong population to fewer than 200. His remark drew a protest from local fishermen.
Mr. Chaiyapruek believed what the patrol had found would convince the locals to believe that there were people hunting for dugongs.
He said about 30 years ago when dugongs were still abundant local fishermen thought they were a kind of fish and ate their meat. After a law was enacted to protect them in 1972, the hunt for dugongs faded away.
The local fishermen, however, did not believe in Mr. Chaiyapruek’s claim. They believed it was a set-up by the officials before the scheduled arrival of the director-general of the National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant
Conservation Department on Oct 25 to clarify his remark to the local fishermen about dugong hunters. Source: Thai PBS