TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Southeast Sulawesi natural resources conservation agency (BKSDA) on Monday mobilized a rescue team to the Bahaba village located in the Konawe Islands Regency to evacuate an endangered dugong (Halicore dugong) confined by locals.
The evacuation process of the 130cm female dugong was initially hampered by a heated argument between the evacuation team and the villagers who were persistent to preserve the 50-kilogram marine mammal on their own.
Fortunately, the locals were willing to hand the protected animal to the BKSDA team after being made aware of the laws that protect the species and the risks of trying to keep the animal in the village confined.
“The villagers represented by a local figure agreed to voluntarily hand the dugong over to the BKSDA team,” said La Ode Kaida, head of Southeast Sulawesi BKSDA’s conservation area II on November 16.
According to the BKSDA report, the dugong’s physical condition as it was rescued was quite deplorable. The mammal sustained scratch marks on its back and a serious injury was also seen in its tail fin and belly.
The protected marine mammal will be treated before it is deemed fit to be reintroduced to its habitat.