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Search continues for missing baby sperm whale spotted off Phuket

Facebook/กรมทรัพยากรทางทะเลและชายฝั่ง (Department of Marine and Coastal Resources)

Thailand’s Department of Marine and Coastal Resources has released an update on the search for a baby sperm whale which has been missing since June 16. The team is still searching for the calf and asked anyone who may have sighted the whale to get in touch.

Photos shared on social media appear to show the calf swimming near Racha Noi Island, off Phuket, sometimes on its side and occasionally upside down. It appears to be able to swim and surface above the water from time to time. It was last seen near a floating waste collection in the ocean and officials are concerned it may have become entangled in debris and injured as a result.

The search team is using a line transect method to search for the calf, a distance sampling method normally used to measure wildlife or marine populations. Rescuers are also using a drone and have asked local fishermen, commercial fishing vessels, and dive boats in the vicinity of Racha Noi and Racha Yai islands to keep an eye out for the whale.

Meanwhile, a team is on standby in the event of the calf washing up on shore.

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