A group of divers were looking forward to a fun day of exploring beneath the waters of the remote island of Kokoya near Indonesia. An ideal site for diving, its crystal clear waters are perfect for spotting colorful fish, and the gentle dugong.
Dugongs look like a cross between a dolphin and a manatee. They love to graze on sea grass and so they are often called "sea cows." These gentle creatures are virtually harmless to humans.
So when these divers found a mother and her calf trapped in two horrible cages, they were horrified.
In a disgusting act of animal cruelty, the mother dugong was chained by her tail.
To their dismay they learned that these gentle beasts had been captured by a local fisherman who was using them as a tourist attraction.
Though the divers didn't know how long they had been caged like this, the scars on the mother's tail suggested that it had been at least several weeks.
The fisherman promised to free the animals, but the suspicious divers took pictures and videos. They shared their disgust with the world on social media.
Thankfully, a day later, wildlife authorities arrived and freed the mother and her calf.
Dugongs are vulnerable to extinction, so you can imagine the urgency of finding and freeing these captive animals. It's horrible to think of what might have happened if they had not been found.
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