Good Night, Sweet Prince: Jamil the Dugong Dies

Photo: Department of Marine and Coastal Resources / Facebook
Photo: Department of Marine and Coastal Resources / Facebook

PHUKET — A dugong named Jamil under the care of Thai authorities died Thursday night.

The last surviving dugong to be rescued by Thai marine resources officials this year died after going into shock following procedures to remove clumps of seagrass from his body.

Vets rushed Jamil to the Vachira Phuket Hospital for an endoscopy 5pm when they found a clump of seagrass clogging his digestive system. Later at 8:20pm, a CAT scan found that he had inflamed lungs as well as a second clump of grass in his stomach. This clump was removed by spraying water to dissolve it before vacuuming it out, a procedure that took 90 minutes.

Jamil was then transported back to his rehabilitation pond at the Marine and Coastal Resources Research and Development Center. His heartbeat was slow.

Suddenly, at 9:35pm Jamil went into shock, and his heartbeat stopped. Despite CPR efforts, he died.

Jamil is the second dugong under Thai care to die within a week. On Saturday, Marium, a six-month-old female, died from ingesting plastic.

In 2019 alone, 16 dugongs have been found beached in Thailand. Jamil was the last surviving one, and was found as a three-month-old on July 1 in Krabi by locals, weakened and covered with wounds. During his 53 days under human care, he gained national attention, along with Marium.

On July 5, Princess Sirivannavari named Jamil, which means means “handsome man of the sea” in the local Yawee language. Three days later, Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha paid him a visit, after which vets put Jamil on 24-hour watch.

Jamil started to have digestive problems on Monday and had been treated since then.

This is a developing story and may be updated without notice.


Jamil’s 53 days with humans.

Jamil with Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha on July 8, 2019.
Jamil with Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha on July 8, 2019.

Jamil on his deathbed Aug. 23, 2019.

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