I often receive emails from visitors to Koh Chang asking where they can see dolphins. Well, here’s one for you. This is one of NINE that have been found on Koh Chang recently.
My reply to the question of where to see dolphins is usually head to Oasis Seaworld in Chantaburi, that’s the only place where you can guarantee to see them – although they do inhabit the waters near Koh Chang.
However, it appears that more visitors are now getting their wish full-filled and are seeing dolphins on Koh Chang. And therein lies the problem. Dolphins should not be ON Koh Chang, they should be in the sea around / off / close to / near or surrounding Koh Chang.
There is something very, very wrong (I almost said ‘fishy’) going on off the shores of Koh Chang. Over the past couple of weeks bodies of dead dolphins have been washing up on the shores of Koh Chang regularly and I doubt it is a mass suicide.
In late June the bodies of seven dolphins were found washed up in various places – Dan Kao & Ao Sapporot on the East coast. Pearl Beach, Chai Chet, Kai Bae and Lonely beach on the West coast. From the photos I’ve seen most of the bodies were in pretty good condition and the cause of death was presumed to be that the dolphins were caught in fishermen’s nets.
Yesterday afternoon, 6 July, a young dolphin – just over a meter long was washed up at KP Huts on Klong Prao beach. Again the body was intact and there was some bruising to the body but no obvious cause of death.
Then today, about an hour ago I found a body of an adult dolphin washed up in the same area, about 100 metres south of KP Huts. The cause of death seemed pretty clear as unlike the other bodies, this dolphin had been butchered. As you’ll see from the photos below the meat has been cut off it as the head and tail remain intact, as does the skin but the body has gone leaving just the spine showing. There are straight cuts around the back of its head and tail which indicate a knife has been used, possibly by a machete weilding giant killer octopus but more likely by man.
Update: What’s almost as unnerving as having nine dead dolphins wash up on the beach is that for some unknown reason the authorities aren’t interested in removing the remains of this one. Very strange – maybe this a dead dolphin too far. At the time of writing, it’s been over 5 days now since I first saw it and it is still there, sitting on the sand, with tourists walking past. Although it’s pretty much down to the skeleton now.
Update 2: We’re now 6 days into ‘Decomposing Dolphin Watch’ so I added a few more photos below the originals.
13 July Photos
21 July – I just found out that there was another dead Irrawaddy dolphin, a 2.3 metre long adult pulled out of the sea last week. So make that 10 dead dolphins in the space of just over 2 weeks.