Baby dugong’s death traced to enteritis

Posted at 01/24/14 3:54 AM

MANILA -- "Binu," a baby dugong found on the shores of Barangay Binulasan in Infanta, Quezon, may have died due to enteritis or inflammation of the intestinal tract, according to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Binu died at the rescue center of Manila Ocean Park (MOP) last Sunday.

Director Theresa Mundita Lim of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB), cited the initial findings of the necropsy conducted Monday by experts from the bureau, the MOP, and volunteers from Japan.

“The lesions noted during the post-mortem examination conducted on Binu on January 20, 2014 were indicative of enteritis,” Lim said. “Organ or tissue samples have been collected for further laboratory testing to fully determine the cause of death.”

Lim said a more thorough examination of the dugong would determine if its illness was bacterial or viral in nature.

While at the rescue center, Binu was fed with milk – a combination of infant formula and soy milk – which was the same formula used in the past to save newborn dugongs.

Such formula was proven effective to wean the dugong and introduce it to its known diet of seagrass.

Binu died 10 days after it was rescued in Infanta, Quezon.
Its remains are kept in a freezer at MOP.

Lim said there is a plan to preserve the dugong’s skeletal structure for educational purposes.