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Marine life experts from the Phuket Marine Biological Centre (PMBC) launched a search for the 20-metre-long whale carcass after it was spotted by tourists about 12 nautical miles from Tab Lamu Pier, near the Similans National Park, on Wednesday (Apr 13).
The carcass was expected to reach the Sarasin Bridge, at the northern tip of Phuket, late that afternoon. (See story here.)
“At first we thought it would turn up somewhere on a Phuket beach, or maybe near the Sarasin Bridge,” Dr Rachawadee Jantra of the PMBC told The Phuket News.
“But our team spotted the carcass at Thai Mueang Beach, about 1.5 kilometres from the Khao Lampi National Park, at about 6pm yesterday (Apr 14).”
PMBC experts confirmed that the Bryde’s whale was female, Dr Rachawadee said.
“Tissue and bone samples have been collected to take to our laboratory so we can determine the cause of death of the mammal,” she added.
“We are not sure what the caused the death, but we are certain that it was not from a fishing net. Our team did not find any food or obstruction in its digest system either,” Dr Rachawadee said.
The whale’s remains have been buried on site at the beach.
“We brought in a backhoe to bury the body deep under the sand and covered it with lime to prevent any contamination,” Dr Rachawadee said.