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Experts at the Phuket Marine Biological Centre (PMBC) believe that a sea cow off the east coast of the island was decapitated for its teeth, which are revered by some as omens of good luck.
“Villagers reported the discovery to us at 8pm, and we dispatched a team to recover the body today so would could inspect it,” said PMBC Director Dr Kongkiet Kittiwattanwong.
Dr Kongkiet and PMBC veterinarian Phatcharaporn Kaeomong examined the headless cadaver after it was brought to the centre at Ao Makham.
The sea cow, technically a dugong, was a three-metre long male weighing about 330 kilogrammes.
“It was more than 40 years old,” noted Dr Kongkiet.