Orphaned baby dugong, named Mariam, died on Saturday from an infection that was inflamed by numerous bits of plastic in her stomach, according to officials.

Mariam gain popularity after photos of her showed her nuzzling rescuers when she got stranded on a beach in April.

According to a report, the eight-month-old dugong refused to eat a week ago and was ill. She died around midnight after going into shock and efforts to resuscitate her failed.

“She died from a blood infection and pus in her stomach,” Chaiyapruk Werawong, head of Trang province marine park, told AFP.

Several pieces of plastic, including one measuring 20cm (eight inches), were found inside her stomach according to autopsy reports.

“Everyone is saddened by the loss, but it reiterates that we need to save the environment to save these rare animals,” Nantarika Chansue, one of Mariam’s vets, said.

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