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Dugong's Appearance at Sim-Sim Water Village Caused a Stir


On August 13, 2017,villagers at Kampong Sim-sim, Sandakan were surprise being visited by pair of Dugongs. Local authorities from Wildlife Department were notified and researcher from University Malaysia Sabah (UMS), Dr John Madin from its Borneo Marine Research Institute (BMRI) has been despatched to collect more data on the protected species before further action could be taken. Locals, especially the villagers of Kampong Sim-sim, have been urged to cooperate in the conservation effort of the dugong.

Dugong is a medium-sized marine mammals sometimes known as sea cows. The Dugong is the only strictly marine herbivorous mammal thus largely dependent on seagrass communities for subsistence. Dugongs are cousins of manatees and share a similar plump appearance, but have a dolphin fluke-like tail. And unlike a manatee, which is use freshwater areas. Dugongs likes to graze peacefully with its snout on sea grasses in shallow coastal water of the Indian and western Pacific Ocean. However Dugong have been hunted for more than thousand years for its meat and oil, like its close modern relative, Stellar's sea cow was hunted to extinction in the 18th century. Today Dugong is listed as a species vulnerable to extinction by the International Union for Conservation Nature (IUCN).

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