VADODARA: A team of the Gujarat forest department has been sent to the state's Bharuch district after villagers there claimed they had sighted two dolphins in the Narmada river.
The dolphin is not a native of the water bodies of these parts and so the team will first verify the claim and then take further action as per standard protocol, an official said Sunday.
"The villagers have claimed that they saw two dolphins in the Narmada river in Sakkarpur Borbhatha area in Ankleshwar tehsil. We have deputed a team of range forest officers to verify the claim and take further action," said Bhanaben Desai, forest official in Ankleshwar.
RFO Mahipal Singh, who was part of the team that visited the site, told PTI Sunday that villagers have said the two dolphins were ten feet and 4.5 feet long and the smaller one was possibly the calf of the former.
Raj Patel, superintendent of the forest department in Bharuch district said it would be the first time dolphins have been spotted in the Sakkarpur Borbhatha area if the villagers' claims are true.
Villager Ambubhai Naranbhai Patel claimed people clicked photographs of the dolphins and then pushed them back into the water.
The river dolphin is a critically endangered species in India and has been included in Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, thereby according them the highest degree of protection. It was declared India's national aquatic animal in October, 2009.