Aerial footage shows a family of rare dugongs thriving in the clean waters off the coast of Thai land after the coronavirus stopped tourism in the country.
Staff from the Marine National Parks Operation Centre noticed the 22 creatures around the Koh Libong islands in Trang province in the south of the country on Wednesday morning (April 22).
The school, including mothers and babies, were feeding freely on seagrass without the usual disturbance from fishing boats and speedboats carrying tourists.
The slow-moving sea creatures, closely related to the manatee, are classified as a vulnerable species.
All tourism in Thailand has been halted because of the COVID-19 pandemic, with curfews, travel bans in place between regions and inbound passenger flights cancelled.
Marine scientist Thon Thamrongnawasawat said: ''It’s quite unusual.
This species of mammal is very sensitive to speed boats and people.
When they are gone, they feel free to gather in a large group and come close to shore.''
Last year, an orphaned baby dugong was found stranded on a beach in southern Thailand, winning hearts nationwide as conservationists fought to keep it alive.
It died months later from an infection worsened by bits of rubbish lining its stomach, reviving public debate on Thailand's urgent need to tackle its plastic addiction.