LIFE

Baby dugong dies in Thailand while receiving medical care

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An 8-month-old baby dugong that captured Thai hearts after being found on a southern beach in April has died from an infection related to plastic in its stomach and intestines, local media reported Saturday.

The dugong was found in Krabi, around 600 kilometres south of Bangkok, and veterinarians had hoped to rehabilitate the animal and return it to the wild, the Bangkok Post reported.

The animal's illness shined a spotlight on ocean pollution and the problems surrounding plastic waste.

Thailand's National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department confirmed that the animal, which had been named "Miriam," died while veterinarians were trying to save its life, the Post said.

The dugong was previously being treated in the Andaman Sea but was moved last week into a nursery.

Dugongs are marine mammals that are similar to manatees.

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