A rare Bryde’s whale and its offspring were spotted earlier this week at Mu Ko Ang Thong National Marine Park in Surat Thani province, while another was observed nearby on Friday (3 Feb).
Officials said they discovered two Bryde’s whales foraging southeast of Ko Nai Phut in the national marine park on February 1, with a third witnessed on February 3. Photo identification from the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources revealed that the two whales were “Mae Wan Dee” and her offspring “Jao Wanrung”, though officials were unable to identify the third whale that visited the area.
Forestry Specialist Sathit Tantikrittaya, head chief of the Mu Ko Ang Thong National Marine Park, revealed that prior to the pandemic, an average of 1-2 Bryde’s whales would be sighted in the area each year. However, officials closed tourist attractions and lodging at the national park between 2020 and 2021. This in turn allowed the area’s ecological system to recover in a sustainable manner, resulting in more sightings of these rare whales and other marine life in the national park.
It was reported that four Bryde’s whales visited the area in 2021 while six were seen in the park at the beginning of last year. The park chief has instructed officials to monitor the whales to confirm if there are more in the area, as well as ensure their safety. (NNT)