Disoriented false killer whales beach on Koh Racha
Phuket Gazette just published an article about False Killer Whales beached on Racha Yay Island, one of Sea Bees Diving daily dive sites from Phuket. To read the whole story and see photos of the dolphins please visit www.phuket-gazette.net
KOH RACHA YAI: Researchers at the Phuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC) are today examining the remains of a False Killer Whale that was one of some 20 that beached on Koh Racha Yai, some 25 kilometers south of Phuket, late yesterday afternoon.
Local hotel staff and tourists rescued another 10 beached animals that could not make their way back to deeper water on their own.
False Killer Whales are large “open-ocean dolphins” known to attack and kill other cetaceans with their distinctive array of 44 teeth.
PMBC biologist Kongkiat Kittiwattanawong told the Gazette that about 40 dolphins were spotted about 5 pm in the shallow waters off Ao Paktok, where 11 of them later beached.
“Almost all the whales that came ashore were three to four meters long. The longest was 4.2m,” K. Kongkiat said.
As most of the whales appeared healthy, it was very unlikely that the mass beaching was the result of illness, he added.
“They are social animals that live in large groups and all members obediently follow their leader, so if the leader beaches the others follow,” he said.
The animal that died was a 2.8m female, probably about 10 years old, he added.
“The animal went into shock and we couldn’t save her. There were no visible signs of illness. We will do an autopsy this afternoon,” he said earlier today.
Here you can read the whole story at www.phuket-gazette.net