Drop in Tourism Makes Space for Rare Sea Creatures in Thailand
It is rare to see a dugong, a threatened sea mammal, in southern Thailand's shallow waters. But thanks to travel restrictions that have left popular travel spots empty, a large group of them recently made their presence known.
Drone video released this week by Thailand's Department of National Parks shows about 30 dugongs off Libong island. The animals were feeding on sea grass. Every so often, they came up to the surface of the water to breathe.
Dugongs are closely related to the manatee, or sea cow. They can grow up to 3.4 meters in length. An estimated 250 dugongs live in the waters off the Thai coast. They are a protected species under Thai law.
Human activity and water pollution have made dugong sightings in southern Thailand rare in recent years. And last year, a record number of dead dugongs were found in Thai waters.
Marine scientist Thon Thamrongnawasawat said of the dugong sightings, "This species of mammal is very sensitive to speed boats and people. When they are gone, they feel free to gather in a large group and come close to shore."
The animals gained media attention last year after images spread of Thai animal doctors holding a sick baby dugong and hand-feeding her milk and sea grass. Even with such care, the baby died two months later.
An examination of her body after her death found a large amount of plastic waste in her intestines. This led to severe stomach problems and a blood infection.
Naturalists report that other rare marine animals have also been seen recently in shallow Thai waters.
Thon said there have been reports of large numbers of sharks coming unusually close to land in several places in southern Thailand. Video from park workers on Phi Phi island shows between 70 and 100 blacktip sharks in the shallow waters of the Maya Bay. The area was made famous by the Leonardo DiCaprio movie "The Beach." The bay was closed to visitors two years ago for environmental recovery. The island's national park has been shut since March to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.
Park workers there also counted 10 to 15 false killer whales, another protected species, near the popular tourist island of Koh Lanta. It marked the first time the animals have been seen in that area.
I'm Ashley Thompson.
1.shallow water 浅海
Our ship grounded in shallow water.
2.grow up 发育
Kate was in a hurry to grow up, eager for knowledge and experience.
3.blood infection 血液感染
Five years earlier Peterson had contracted chicken pox and ended up with viral pneumonia and a blood infection.
4.plastic waste 塑料垃圾
Most of the plastic waste that ends up in the ocean comes from land.
5.An examination of her body after her death found a large amount of plastic waste in her intestines.
a large amount of 大量的
A large amount of capital is invested in all these branches.
He has a large amount of mail to answer every day.
6.This species of mammal is very sensitive to speed boats and people.
be sensitive to 对...敏感
The classroom teacher must be sensitive to a child's needs.
The Commission is sensitive to accusations that it is overstepping its authority.
在泰国南部的浅水区，很难看到濒临灭绝的海洋哺乳动物儒艮 。但由于旅行限制，热门旅游景点空空如也，大量景点最近才得以亮相 。
泰国国家公园管理局本周发布的一段无人机视频显示，在立贡岛附近有大约30只儒艮 。它们正在吃海草 。每隔一段时间，它们就浮出水面呼吸 。
儒艮与海牛关系密切 。它们可以长到3.4米长 。估计有250只儒艮生活在泰国海岸附近的水域 。这种动物是受泰国法律保护的物种 。
近年来，由于人类活动和水污染，在泰国南部发现儒艮的情况十分罕见 。去年，在泰国水域发现了创纪录数量的儒艮尸体 。
海洋科学家索恩（Thon Thamrongnawasawat）在谈到儒艮时表示：“这种哺乳动物对快艇和人类非常敏感 。当这些干扰消失后，它们可以自由地聚集成一大群，靠近海岸 。”
去年，泰国动物医生抱着生病的儒艮幼崽，用手喂其牛奶和海草的照片传开后，这些动物引起了媒体的注意 。即使得到这样的照料，幼崽还是在两个月后死亡 。
幼崽死后的身体检查发现，肠道内有大量的塑料垃圾 。这导致了严重的胃部问题和血液感染 。
索恩表示，有报道称，在泰国南部的几个地方，大量鲨鱼一反常态地靠近陆地 。来自披披岛公园工作人员的视频显示，在玛雅湾浅水区有70到100条黑鳍鲨 。这个地区因莱昂纳多·迪卡普里奥的电影《海滩》而出名 。两年前，该海湾因恢复环境对游客关闭 。该岛的国家公园自3月以来一直关闭，以防止新冠状病毒的传播 。
公园工作人员还发现了10到15头伪虎鲸，这是另一种受保护的物种，位于著名的旅游胜地泰国兰塔岛附近 。这是该地区首次发现这种动物 。