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Home / World / Marium, the dugong who enthralled Thailand, dies after taking plastic: NPR

Marium, the dugong who enthralled Thailand, dies after taking plastic: NPR



An official of the Ministry of Marine and Coastal Resources hugs Marium, a lost baby dugong. The 8-month-old mammal, who was arresting hearts online, died after biologists believed she had eaten plastic garbage.

Sirachai Arunrugstichai / AP


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Sirachai Arunrugstichai / AP

An official from the Ministry of Marine and Coastal Resources embraces Marium, a lost baby dugong. The 8-month-old mammal, who was arresting hearts online, died after biologists believed she had eaten plastic garbage.

Sirachai Arunrugstichai / AP

Marium, a orphaned dugong cared for by biologists in southern Thailand, had what it takes to win over the Internet. Few could withstand pictures and videos feeding the button-eye mammal with seaweed and bottled milk, and even cuddling their caregivers while seeming to carry a contented smile.

But it seems the 8-month-old Marian has become a victim of another modern phenomenon: the growing presence of plastic in the water. A Saturday autopsy revealed numerous tiny pieces of plastic in the gut, according to Thailand's Ministry of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Protection.