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Koh Chang Whale Rescue

Posted by Vadmin on March 26, 2013

Koh Chang has been a buzz over the last few days over the reported rescue of two killer whales from fishing nets. The story broke on 22nd March when official Thai news agency NNT reported that the whales were rescued by members of the Department of National Parks. The mammals were apparently trapped in fishing nets in Salakphet Bay in the south of the island and suffered injuries trying to escape.

{timg title:=”Map False killer whale” thumb:=”images/stories/srv/blog/small/map_false_killer_whale_small.png” img:=”images/stories/srv/blog/big/map_false_killer_whale.png” gal:=”gallery-content”}

The initial reports were that the two whales were baby killer whales (Orcinus orca) however expert cetologists cast some doubt on the claim as Orcas are known to prefer open seas and it is unlikely they would be found as high up as Koh Chang in the Gulf of Thailand. Although currently unconfirmed it is far more likely that the animals are of the species Pseudorca crassidens which are commonly referred to as false killer whales, a member of the dolphin family. False killer whales are far more common in Thai waters and made the news in 2008 when 30 beached themselves on Racha Island in the Andaman Sea. On that occasion, all but one of the dolphins were rescued by local residents, tourists and hotel staff.

{timg title:=”False killer whale” thumb:=”images/stories/srv/blog/small/false_killer_whale_size_small.png” img:=”images/stories/srv/blog/big/false_killer_whale_size.png” gal:=”gallery-content”}

Residents of Koh Chang are equally hopeful for a similar happy outcome for the two Koh Chang marine mammals although one of the animals is reported to be in a poor condition. After freeing the animals from the nets the National Parks department called in a specialist veterinarian team from Chulalongkorn University who are now giving intensive care to both mammals having removed them from the ocean to holding tanks.

{timg title:=”False killer whale” thumb:=”images/stories/srv/blog/small/jumpingorca_small.jpg” img:=”images/stories/srv/blog/big/jumpingorca.jpg” gal:=”gallery-content”}

One of the animals is reported to be in poor condition and is unable to move freely. The lead vet has reported that it is suffering from a lung infection. It is now being supported by a sling fashioned from a life vest allowing it to breathe and being given intensive medical treatment including antibiotics and vitamin supplements. Currently it is not feeding naturally and is being fed from a tube. Vets are hopeful that it will eventually make a full recovery.

The other mammal is in far better condition and is reported as moving freely although the medical team is still monitoring its progress to ensure it remains in good health.

{timg title:=”False killer whale” thumb:=”images/stories/srv/blog/small/false_killer_whale2_small.jpg” img:=”images/stories/srv/blog/big/false_killer_whale2.jpg” gal:=”gallery-content”}

{timg title:=”False killer whale” thumb:=”images/stories/srv/blog/small/false_killer_whale_890002_small.jpg” img:=”images/stories/srv/blog/big/false_killer_whale_890002.jpg” gal:=”gallery-content”}

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