Rare dugongs cruise shallow waters amid Thailand coronavirus lockdown


TRANG, Thailand (WFLA/NBC) – Thai authorities have released drone video of a herd of dugongs, a rare type of sea mammal, cruising slowly amid shallow blue waters off an island in the country’s south.

The shy sea mammals are an increasingly rare sight in the area, mainly due to human intrusion and marine pollution.

But travel restrictions imposed to counter the COVID-19 pandemic have stopped tourism in its tracks, leaving coastal regions tranquil and undisturbed.

A drone from the National Parks Department captured the shots of the 30-strong herd off the coast of Libong Island in the Trang Province on Wednesday.

They were feeding on sea grass and occasionally surfaced to breathe.

Dugongs, closely related to the manatee, are officially classified as “vulnerable.”

Thailand’s dugong population is around 250.

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