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Dudong found swimming on Okinawa’s west coast

Date Posted: 2004-04-29

There had been rumors of dudong sightings on Okinawa’s west coast, but nobody had actually seen one. Until April 25th, that is.

A fisherman operating three kilometers from Yomitan Village Miyako-ya Fisherman’s Wharf was pulling up his nets Sunday and found a dudong happily swimming inside. Speculation is that the dudong was looking for an easy supply of fish for his diet.

The fishermen’s association immediately called Churaumi Aquarium and asked their help. A dudong specialist was one of some 20 people sent from Nago to Yomitan to look. They were excited at the discovery, and tried to coax the 2.5 meter long mammal back to the open water.

The Churaumi officials say the dudong appeared healthy with no injuries or anything. A crane was used to maneuver the nets around and allow the dudong to swim free.

The Fishermen’s Association says “It’s very unusual thing for a dudong to show up here. It’s very close to shore. We had heard before about a dudong in the area, but that was before reversion more than 30 years ago.”

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