1. Experts from the Phuket Marine Biological Centre (PMBC) collected bone and tissue samples in the hope of determining what caused the death of the Bryde’s Whale.
  2. The remains of the Bryde’s Whale were buried on site on the beach, and covered with lime to prevent contamination.

Photos: PMBC

Thailand: Missing Bryde’s Whale carcass washes up on beach north of Phuket
By Tanyaluk Sakoot, 15th April 2016;

The missing Bryde’s Whale (Balaenoptera edeni) carcass spotted by tourists north of Phuket two days ago has been found washed ashore at Thai Muaeng Beach, in Phang Nga province.

Marine life experts from the Phuket Marine Biological Centre (PMBC) launched a search for the 20-metre-long Whale carcass after it was spotted by tourists about 12 nautical miles from Tab Lamu Pier, near the Similans National Park, on Wednesday (Apr 13).

The carcass was expected to reach the Sarasin Bridge, at the northern tip of Phuket, late that afternoon. (See story here)

“At first we thought it would turn up somewhere on a Phuket beach, or maybe near the Sarasin Bridge,” Dr Rachawadee Jantra of the PMBC told The Phuket News.

“But our team spotted the carcass at Thai Mueang Beach, about 1.5 kilometres from the Khao Lampi National Park, at about 6pm yesterday (Apr 14).”

PMBC experts confirmed that the Bryde’s Whale was female, Dr Rachawadee said.

“Tissue and bone samples have been collected to take to our laboratory so we can determine the cause of death of the mammal,” she added.

“We are not sure what the caused the death, but we are certain that it was not from a fishing net. Our team did not find any food or obstruction in its digestive system either,” Dr Rachawadee said.

The Whale’s remains have been buried on site at the beach.

“We brought in a backhoe to bury the body deep under the sand and covered it with lime to prevent any contamination,” Dr Rachawadee said.

Source: Phuket News

The taxonomy of the Bryde’s Whale is still far from settled; what we call the Bryde’s Whale has been split into two subspecies or even distinct species by some authorities: the true Bryde’s Whale, a larger species found in tropical and warm temperate waters worldwide (Balaenoptera brydei), and the Sittang or Eden’s Whale, a smaller form that may be restricted to coastal waters of the Indo-Pacific (Balaenoptera edeni). Both species(?) have been recorded from tropical waters of Southeast Asia.

Marine biologists haul in the five-tonne carcass of a Bryde’s Whale washed up on Lampi Beach in Phang Nga.
Photo: Kritsada Mueanhawong

Thailand: Rotting Whale carcass could still reveal clues
By Kritsada Mueanhawong, 15th April 2016;

Marine biologists are hoping that the rotting carcass of a five-tonne Whale, found washed up yesterday on Lampi Beach, Phang Nga, will reveal clues about how it died.

Phuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC) staff had been looking for the dead cetacean, ever since it was spotted floating off Koh Bon in the Similan National Park by a tourist on April 10 (story here).

“It is a Bryde’s Whale (Balaenoptera edeni), about 13.45 meters long. It has probably been dead for about two weeks, so the body is already in an advanced state of decomposition, with some of the bones exposed,” said Rachawadee Chantra from the PMBC.

Despite the state of the rotting carcass, Dr Rachawadee is confident that they can determine the cause of the Whale’s death once it’s transported to the PMBC facility at Cape Panwa, where biologists will perform an autopsy.

“After an examination, the carcass will be buried in a three-meter deep pit lined with lime, and left there for about six months, by which time only the skeleton should remain,” said Dr Rachawadee.

The bones will then be cleaned, so that the skeleton can be used as a museum piece or for educational purposes.

Source: Phuket Gazette

The taxonomy of the Bryde’s Whale is still far from settled; what we call the Bryde’s Whale has been split into two subspecies or even distinct species by some authorities: the true Bryde’s Whale, a larger species found in tropical and warm temperate waters worldwide (Balaenoptera brydei), and the Sittang or Eden’s Whale, a smaller form that may be restricted to coastal waters of the Indo-Pacific (Balaenoptera edeni). Both species(?) have been recorded from tropical waters of Southeast Asia.

The dead Whale was spotted off Koh Bon.
Photos: Theo Jaubert

Thailand: Officers hunt for dead Whale in Similan National Park
By Kongleaphy Keam, 13th April 2016;

National park officers are searching for a large Whale carcass spotted off Koh Bon in the Similan National Park on Saturday.

“We have received pictures of the whale, which was reportedly already sunburned and foul-smelling. However, we’ve yet to locate the animal,” said Nut Kongkasorn, chief of Mu Ko Similan National Park.

National park officers are hoping to recover the body in order to perform an autopsy and determine the cause of death.

“At this point, we can’t even confirm what species of Whale it is,” Mr Nut said.

Officers ask that if anyone spots this Whale carcass, or any other unusual dead marine animals, to contact them during office hours Monday through Friday 9am to 5pm at 076-453 272.

Source: Phuket Gazette

The carcass has been identified as possibly belonging to a Bryde’s Whale (Balaenoptera edeni).

The taxonomy of the Bryde’s Whale is still far from settled; what we call the Bryde’s Whale has been split into two subspecies or even distinct species by some authorities: the true Bryde’s Whale, a larger species found in tropical and warm temperate waters worldwide (Balaenoptera brydei), and the Sittang or Eden’s Whale, a smaller form that may be restricted to coastal waters of the Indo-Pacific (Balaenoptera edeni). Both species(?) have been recorded from tropical waters of Southeast Asia.

The Whale’s body was found by tour groups at Similan National Phuket.
Photo: Medsye Travel

Thailand: Phuket search launched for ‘missing’ dead Whale
By Tanyaluk Sakoot & Eakkapop Thongtub, 13th April 2016;

Officials are on the lookout for the body of a 20-metre long Bryde’s Whale (Balaenoptera edeni) that is expected to reach the Sarasin Bridge, at the northern tip of Phuket, late this afternoon (Apr 13).

The remains were reported by a tour company at about 6pm yesterday, which spotted the remains about 12 nautical miles from Tab Lamu Pier.

“From the pictures we received, we believe the Whale died three to four days before earlier,” said Nat Kongkesorn, Chief of Similan National Park.

“We have been looking for the Whale since this morning, but have yet to find it. Depending on weather conditions, it might reach Sarasin Bridge this afternoon,” he said.

“I have informed the Phuket Marine Biological Centre (PMBC). If the Whale is found, the PMBC will examine the remains to try to determine the cause of death,” Chief Nat added.

The PMBC confirmed their officers have launched a search for the Whale.

Any persons who seen the Whale’s remains are urged to call the PMBC at 076-391128.

Source: Phuket News

20 metres is too large for it to be a Bryde’s Whale; either it’s a larger species of Rorqual, or the size given is erroneous.

The taxonomy of the Bryde’s Whale is still far from settled; what we call the Bryde’s Whale has been split into two subspecies or even distinct species by some authorities: the true Bryde’s Whale, a larger species found in tropical and warm temperate waters worldwide (Balaenoptera brydei), and the Sittang or Eden’s Whale, a smaller form that may be restricted to coastal waters of the Indo-Pacific (Balaenoptera edeni). Both species(?) have been recorded from tropical waters of Southeast Asia.

Thailand: Phang Nga fishermen assist weak Dolphin found in small cove near Khao Lak
By Eakkapop Thongtub, 27th September 2015;

Rescue workers at 10.30pm on Friday (September 25) were alerted by local fishermen concerned about a weak Dolphin they found struggling to swim in a shallow cove near the Khao Pakarung Cape in Ta Kua Pa district’s Kuek Kak locale.

The Dolphin, which was swimming on its side back and forth in the shallow bay, appeared to have skin abrasions all throughout its body, but was not bleeding, Mr Surachai said.

Mr Surachai telephoned the Andaman Marine Resources Research and Development Centre office in Phuket, and spoke with veternarian, Dr Rachawadee Chanthara, who advised rescuers on aiding the Dolphin until experts from the centre could be dispatched.

Dr Ratchawadee advised against transferring the Dolphin to another area as it was feared that such a move would be too tramuatic for the Dolphin, reported to be in a very weak state.

She further advised for all unnecessary personnel to distance themselves from the Dolphin and for only two rescue volunteers to help prop up the Dolphin on either side, being careful not to accidentially grab or touch its sexual organ, while preventing water/sand from entering the mammal’s orfices.

However, it soon became clear that the water was getting more shallow by the minute, so the volunteers decided to move the Dolphin to the other side of the cove, where the assistants said the Dolphin was finally able to swim on its own, disappearing under the water and swimming away from them.

To be sure the Dolphin didn’t just swim back to shore, the men surveyed the area for a distance of about 1 kilometre and unable to find the Dolphin again returned back to shore.

Weak and injured Dolphin are regularly reported shoring up at this particular bay usually following a big storm, said Mr Surachai, who suspects that the abrasions spotted on the Dolphin were caused by sharp coral and rocks abundant throughout the shallow seabed in the area.

Rough weather, accompanying 3-metre waves have been reported in the Andaman Sea off the west coast of Phang Nga over the past few days.

Meanwhile Typhoon Dujuan is expected to make landfall in Taiwan over the next 24 to 36 hours.

Source: Phuket News

This appears to be an Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops aduncus).

PMBC staff, along with members of the Kusoldharm Foundation, transferred the weak dolphin to the Phuket Marine Biological Center yesterday. Photo: Kritsada Mueanhawong

Thailand: Dolphin washes ashore in Phang Nga
By Kritsada Mueanhawong, 14th July 2015;

A female Spinner Dolphin (Stenella longirostris) has been taken to the Phuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC) after it was found beached in Phang Nga yesterday morning.

At about 8:30am, officers from the PMBC Endangered Species Unit received a call from locals that the marine mammal washed ashore at Ban Tha Noon Beach.

When officers arrived, they found villagers holding the dolphin in the water, as it was exhausted and unable to swim.

Initial examinations revealed no external wounds.

“We believe that the dolphin got stranded near the shore because of the strong monsoon weather. She was too weak to continue to swim,” said Kongkiat Kittiwattanawong, head of the Marine Endangered Species Unit at the PMBC.

PMBC workers, along with Kusoldharm rescue workers, transferred the mammal to PMBC to administer tests.

“She has been put on antibiotics and we are checking her blood to see if she has any infections,” Dr Kongkiat said. “Normally, dolphins tend to hide pain, as it is a defense mechanism so they won’t be hunted, because of this, the testing will take a little longer.”

PMBC workers believe it will take at least two weeks for the dolphin to recover and be released back into the wild.

Source: Phuket Gazette

The dolphin is now under the care of the Phuket Marine Biological Centre. Photo: Eakkapop Thongtub

Thailand: Beached dolphin rescued north of Phuket
By Eakkapop Thongtub, 13th July 2015;

Staff at the Phuket Marine Biological Centre (PMBC) are hoping that a sick female dolphin recovered from Tah Noon Beach in Phang Nga, across the bridges at the northern tip of Phuket, at about 9am today (July 13) will make a full recovery.

Local rescue were called in to render assistance and on arrival found people caring for the dolphin by keeping it wrapped in wet blankets to prevent its skin from drying out.

The dolphin, a 23.2kg female, was taken to to the PMBC, where marine biologists identified that the sea mammal was suffering from difficulty of breathing and exhibited abrasions on the skin.

“We believe the dolphin has a blood infection,” one staffer told The Phuket News. “She might have been too weak to stay with her school and eventually beached by the strong wind and currents brought on by the southwest monsoon.”

“We will do our best to make sure she makes a full recovery and keep her here until until she can swim well on her own.”

Source: Phuket News

Based on the length of the dolphin’s beak in the photo, this is a Spinner Dolphin (Stenella longirostris).