KOTA KINABALU: State wildlife rangers are trying to rescue a dugong stranded in shallow waters off the east coast of Sandakan.
A team of experts from Borneo Marine Research Institute is heading to the spot, near the Sim Sim water village, to assist.
The dugong, an endangered species, was spotted by some villagers at about 8.30am yesterday.
At that time, it was unable to get to deep water.
An adult of the species can typically grow to 3m in length and weigh about 420kg.
Sandakan Wildlife officer Hussein Muin said no one should disturb the marine mammal, adding that it was best to let experts handle the situation.
The dugong is protected under the Conservation of Wildlife Enactment 1997 and anyone disturbing or harming it is committing an offence, he said.
He added that the experts would also be studying the mammal which is also called a “sea cow”.
Several residents at Kampung Sim Sim said this was the first time a dugong had turned up there and that they had never seen one until now.