July 29, 2019 Ryukyu Shimpo Dugong found in Nakijin ruled to have died from a stingray stinger, says the Ministry of the Environment, Okinawa, and Nakijin while announcing the results of their investigation

July 29, 2019 Ryukyu Shimpo
The Ministry of the Environment (MoE), Okinawa Prefecture, and Nakijin Village announced July 29 that after conducting an autopsy, a dugong which was found dead in Untengyo Bay in Nakijin in March of this year and is a protected species in Japan was ruled to have died from the sting of a pink whipray in its abdomen. According to the MoE, the ray’s stinger caused damage to the abdominal cavity, causing the digestive tract contents to leak out, eventually killing the animal as its conditions worsened. There were no other obvious injuries such as a bone fracture or other external wounds.
The dugong was discovered March 18 after washing ashore in the breakwaters of Untengyo Bay. There was blood and cuts around the head and fins. The Okinawa Defense Bureau (ODB) has stated that the dugong was “Specimen B” one of three dugongs that have been confirmed to inhabit the waters near Okinawa and who made its habitat near the village.
In June, the ODB reported at the “Environmental Oversight Committee” which investigates the environmental impacts of the new base facility construction at Henoko, that the construction boats had no effect with regards to the death of the dugong.
(English translation by T&CT and Sam Grieb)

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