The carcass of a Manatee Dugong was found washed ashore at a beach in Tanjung Logok here around 2.50pm today.
Photo: Johor Fisheries Department

Malaysia: Dead Manatee Dugong found on Tanjung Logok beach
By Halim Said, 2016;

The carcass of a Manatee (Trichechus sp.) (NOT a Manatee, it’s a Dugong!) was found washed ashore at a beach in Tanjung Logok here around 2.50pm today.

According to Johor Fisheries Department director Munir Mohd Nawi, the carcass of the animal measured 2.33m in length with a diameter of 0.84m.

Munir said the Manatee Dugong carcass was found by villagers in the area who informed the department about the finding.

“The Manatee Dugong was believed to have died before being washed ashore as it had started decomposing. The stomach area of the animal was already rotten,” he said.

He said an investigation paper will be opened to investigate the cause of death of the Manatee Dugong and why it had washed ashore in Johor.

This is the second deep sea marine creature and endangered marine life that was found on the beaches of Johor after a Sei Whale (Balaenoptera borealis) (NOT a Sei Whale, it was a Bryde’s Whale!) was found beached on Pantai Semerah beach in Batu Pahat, after it was first spotted in Pontian.

Source: New Straits Times

It’s honestly quite ridiculous (and incredible) that the original article in the New Straits Times identifies this Dugong (Dugong dugon) carcass as a Manatee (Trichechus), which aren’t found in Southeast Asia at all. Also, come on, Dugongs aren’t “deep sea” creatures; they’re inhabitants of shallow coastal waters.

I’m wondering whether these errors are coming from uninformed journalists, or whether the Johor Fisheries Department are the ones dispensing such misinformation. Although since the animal was correctly identified in Bernama, Malaysia’s national new agency, it’s likely that this was an error on the part of the New Straits Times.

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