A few months ago, a baby dugong washed up on the shallow waters off Thailand. The precious photos of her playing with her rescuers quickly went viral, and her adorableness easily won the hearts of the Thai people and has helped give attention to ocean conservation efforts.
Unfortunately, Miriam lost her fight for recovery and has passed away after she went into shock and efforts to resuscitate her were met with failure. According to Chaiyapruk Werawong, the head of Trang province marine park, as quoted by SCMP,
“She died from a blood infection and pus in her stomach.”
He also elaborated that they have found some amount of plastic waste in her intestines, which had caused an obstruction in her stomach. This then led to severe inflammation and gas build-up.
Veterinary surgeon, Nantarika Chansue explained,
“We could partially treat the respiratory infection but the obstruction of plastic rubbish… could not be cured.”
Mariam’s death is a grim sign that the world’s plastic problem is getting from bad to worse. Saying no to straws is a good start, but the problem is, time is not on our side. We need to stop using plastic altogether before mother nature is no longer here for us.
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