Pregnant dolphin found dead in UP sanctuary

A pregnant Gangetic river dolphin has been found dead in an Uttar Pradesh wildlife reserve in Bahraich district.

The endangered mammal was discovered dead in the Girijapuri barrage under the Katarniyaghat Wildlife Sanctuary.

Divisional forest officer (DFO) Yashwant Singh said that the dolphin was around 11 years old. They usually give dirth to one calf every two to three years.

Singh said that a team of veterinary doctors conducted a post-mortem of the dead dolphin and a foetus was found in its uterus. There were no external injury marks and the dolphin is said to have died due to “natural reasons”.

Singh said the dolphin was cremated as per rules.

The Gangetic river dolphins, a species of freshwater dolphins primarily found in the Ganga and Brahmaputra rivers and their tributaries in India, Bangladesh and Nepal, were declared national aquatic species in 2010.

As per official figures, there are about 3,700 Gangetic river dolphins in the India.

In January, a dolphin was beaten to death by a group of men in Pratapgarh district and three persons were later arrested. These dolphins can only live in freshwater and are essentially blind. They hunt by emitting ultrasonic sounds, which bounces off of fish and other prey, enabling them to “see” an image in their mind.