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Tourists spot endangered ‘Dugong’ in the Red Sea

Tourists diving on Saturday spotted the rare, endangered Dugong in the Abu Dabbab Bay area, north of Marsa Alam.

The Dugong, known as a gentle giant of the seas, is at risk of extinction and protected by law. It attracts tourists eager for the rare chance to swim near one.

Dugongs lives in warm coastal waters where seaweed is abundant.

They are found in limited numbers on the Egyptian coasts, including in Hurghada and Marsa Alam. It is considered the largest tourism promoter in the city of Marsa Alam, where divers from all over the world flock to watch the creatures in their natural environmental.

An environmental researcher in the Red Sea Reserves Authority, Ahmed Ghallab confirmed that the Marsa Alam region is a major area for Dugong sightings.

Each area tends to harbor an individual Dugong, which is frequented by many tourist boats that drop off tourists near its area to watch it and swim with it to take souvenir photos, Ghallab added.

According to Ghallab, Dugongs surface to breath across three periods lasting two seconds each, and then rest for 10 to 20 seconds after which the animal descends to the bottom of the ocean to feed for around two to four minutes before rising to breath once more.

Reserve officials have made great efforts in order to monitor Dugongs and preserve their safety, Ghallab added, and ensure that environmental procedures in the areas the animal is found are being followed.

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