February 6, 2023
BANGKOK – Three Bryde’s whales were seen frolicking in a marine national park off the coast of Surat Thani province on Friday, but park officials were only able to identify two of them by name.
They identified “Wandee” and “Wanrung” in the database of the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources but were unable to identify the third.
Staff have been instructed to monitor the Bryde’s whale population since two were spotted in Mu Ko Ang Thong National Park on February 1, national park chief Satit Tantikritya said on Saturday.
“Monitoring aims to record statistics of rare sea animals and prevent people from disturbing them,” Satit said.
Before the pandemic, one or two Bryde’s whales were seen in the marine park each year, but after tourism activities were suspended in 2020 and 2021, the number increased.
“Four Bryde’s whales – Wandee, Wanyud, Im-aim, and Prempree – were seen in the national park from February to March 2021,” Satit said.
He said six Bryde’s whales were spotted at the national park from January to February last year. Park staff were able to identify five – Prempree, Sakhu, Mesa, Sodsai and Sandee – but a sixth was not in the database.
“It is interesting to keep track of how many Bryde’s whales show up and how long they stay at the national park,” Satit said.
Their increasing visits signal that the national park’s marine resources are abundant, he added.
Satit urged local residents to follow the national park’s rules and recommendations for boating and tourism to ensure long-term preservation of the park’s spectacular marine life.