Villagers found a carcass of India’s national aquatic animal, a female Gangetic dolphin in Balasore district on Thursday. According to local people the dolphin was starved to death and her dead body was floating in Budhablanga river near Saupada in Remuna Block. After identifying dead body of dolphin fish, villagers informed the forest department about the mishap.
Forest officials too were quick in reacting over the case and soon visited the site to see the carcass of 1.9 meter long and nearly 31 kg heavy dolphin dead. Further examination revealed that the female dolphin must be 10-year-old and had a 40 cm long snout. Since these dolphins are born blind, they are included in the list of threatened species made by International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
Forest department sent the carcass for postmortem and the autopsy report revealed that the endangered species died because it suffered an injury in lower jaw as its mouth got entangled with the fishing net. Due to broken jaw, the dolphin was unable to eat for several and ultimately starved to death.
“We suspect that its jaw was stuck in a fishing net and broken. A portion of fishing net was found in its mouth. Owing to the broken jaw, it could not eat anything for four to five days. During postmortem, nothing was found in its stomach,” said DFO Harsabardhan Udgata.
Udgata further added that the female dolphin was never spotted during all previous census in Balasore district. Census only discovered male dolphin, said DFO. However, countering his statement, forest officials said that two female dolphins were spotted in the area back in 2005.
Moreover, due to lack of female dolphins, the area didn’t see male dolphins too.