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Dead sea cow found in Sarangani Bay

Climate Change/Environment • 14:45 PM Mon Feb 12, 2024
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DENR-12/RSCIGM
Dr. Roy Mejorada (left), Sarangani Bay Protected Seascape Science Research Specialist, examines the dead sea cow and finds it swallowed fishing nets and lines that are believed to have caused its death. (Photos from SBPS/DENR Soccsksargen)  

KORONADAL CITY - A juvenile male Dugong (Dugong dugon) was found lifeless on Sunday morning (Feb. 11) around 20 meters off the shores of Barangay Tango in Glan, Sarangani Province.

Cirilo A. Lagnason, Jr., protected area superintendent (PASu) of the Sarangani Bay Protected Seascape (SBPS), said local resident Eddie Garcia spotted the dead dugong, who immediately notified the incident to the authorities.

He said that the SBPS Protected Area Management Office (PAMO) megafauna response team (MRT) together with the personnel of PNP Maritime and DENR-12 Conservation and Development Division Protected Area Management and Biodiversity Conservation Section (CDD-PAMBCS) promptly responded to the incident after receiving reports from the bantay dagat and local community.

Based on the examination conducted by Science Research Specialist II Dr. Roy Mejorada and personnel from CDD and Environmental Conservation and Protection Center (ECPC), the dugong, which weighed around 60 kilos with 137 centimeters in length, has no external lesions, no physical trauma, but slight scratches were observed on its back.

According to the necropsy findings, it revealed that the dugong suffered an obstruction in the sphincter between the stomach and duodenum resulting from the entangled fishing nylon strands and seagrass.

Frothy exudates observed in its lungs indicate that the mammal's cause of death was drowning.

“This unfortunate incident is a call for awareness of the dangers of discarded fishing gear and irresponsible waste disposal toward our marine wildlife organisms. This also highlights the critical role that the local community and government agencies play on the conservation of marine biodiversity,” PASu Lagnason said.

The stranded dugong has been transported to the Wildlife Rescue Center in Brgy. Ladol, Alabel for taxidermy processing, which is vital for future educational, research, and conservation purposes.

The DENR along with the SBPS-PAMO remains committed to its mission of preserving marine biodiversity and encourages everyone to play a role in safeguarding our oceans for future generations. ### (With report and photos from PAMO-SBPS)

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