BANGKOK (AFP) – A round-the-clock webcast starring two beloved baby dugongs in Thailand named Mariam and Jamil went live yesterday, allowing a more in-depth look at the celebrity sea cows.
Mariam captured hearts in viral social media posts last month showing her playfully nuzzling up to rescuers in shallow waters off southwestern Thailand, while Jamil washed ashore further up the coast a week ago.
The orphaned dugong duo are being held separately, but anyone with an Internet connection can now see them through a 24-hour livestream that uses eight camera angles and scheduled feeding times.
“We show them live because we don’t want people to disrupt them by going to see them at the current locations,” said Director of the Phuket Marine Biological Centre Kongkiat Kittiwatanawong.
He added cameras will also help with monitoring their recovery.
A little after 2pm Jamil was seen splashing away in a small pool in the Phuket centre.
Normally dugongs don’t leave their mothers until they are a little more than a year.
Mariam is female and believed to be about six months old, while Jamil is half her age.
Experts said interest in the dugongs has helped galvanise awareness in ocean conservation.