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Scientists will work fast to determine what killed the giant whale

Beached Whale Becomes Land Lubber Blubber in Phang Nga

Tuesday, August 21, 2012
PHUKET: A giant whale has been washed up on a beach north of Phuket, becoming an instant attraction for sightseers and scientists.

The whale is seven metres long and weighs about two tonnes.

Phuket marine biologists will head tomorrow to Bangsak beach in Phang Nga, Phuket's neighboring province, to perform research.

It's not known at this stage which species of whale is involved but whales are regular passersby off Phuket and the Andaman Sea coast.

The local council near the township of Khao Lak has already decided to bury the whale on the beach, using a backhoe.

Marine biologists from the Phuket Marine Biological centre in eastern Phuket hope to examine the whale first to see if they can learn what killed it.

Dr Kongkiat Kittiwattanawong said tonight that he and other scientists would be keen to learn what they can before the whale is buried.

Marine creatures are forced ashore on the Andaman coast with wounds from fishing nets or in the case of some turtles especially, digestion problems from swallowed plastic bags or other manmade objects.

Phang Nga is more secluded and still home to turtles that once nested along Phuket's west coast.

But saving sick ot wounded creatures is not easy.

Biologists were hopeful about saving a seven-year-old dolphin that was washed up on Thai Muang beach in southern Phang Nga in late July.

The dolphin was suspended in a sling in the water at the Phuket Marine Biological Centre and given round-the-clock care.

Given the name Boonlod (Lucky Survivor) the dolphin was showing signs of a recovery, but it died on August 12.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


I'm no marine biologist but it looks a lot like a Sperm whale to me.

I stand to be corrected.

Posted by Andrew on August 21, 2012 21:00

Editor Comment:

Mostly found in Soi Bangla?


Admittingly some specimen on Soi Bangla are large enough to be mistaken for a whale.

I wonder if Greenpeace ever tried to push one off Patong beach back to the sea..

Posted by Andrew on August 21, 2012 21:15


@ Andrew
Think so, too

"Mostly found in Soi Bangla?"

You mean, a Moby Dick, only not in white?

Posted by ??? on August 21, 2012 21:30


He Our editor can be funny also!
That needs NEWScoverage!

But yes Liked his remark!

Posted by PhuketExpat on August 21, 2012 22:04


@Ed; Ha Ha; had to laugh at that response.Seriously; beached whales and dolphins seems to be occuring more; no-one seems to know why.

Posted by Mal on August 21, 2012 22:17


I am so sad the dolphin died, last I read Lucky Survivor was improving. Did you print an article of the sad news, do you know why he/she died?

Posted by HappyFarang on August 22, 2012 11:58

Editor Comment:

The dolphin was sick and could not be saved.


clean the sea and the beaches around the pollution areas of phuket. this is not the first time !!!

Posted by dee on August 22, 2012 23:49


This is a small, probably not very old Sperm whale.
I have seen grown up ones, exceeding 20 meters in lenght, dragged ashore on the last land based whale station in operation about 40 years ago.
I still have some big teeth from these around!
If this is a youngster, it was sick from something getting washed ashore.
I don't think these are common in the waters close to Thailand.
The nose of that animal contains a big amount of very expensive oil, used in the perfume and women's soap industry!
The teeth are valuable too.

Posted by Guest on August 24, 2012 04:17

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