KENDRAPARA: A Gangetic dolphin was caught in the net of a fisherman in Govari river near Kaikula village on Monday morning. However, the aquatic mammal, which was trapped in the net of one Sarat Sethi of Kaikula, died within a few minutes.
DFO of Bhitarkanika National Park, Bikash Ranjan Dash said the dolphin was a young female. “We rushed to the village and took possession of the carcass. We will preserve the skeleton of the dolphin in the museum at Dangamal in Bhitarkanika,” he said.
This was the first sighting of the endangered species in Govari river. Back in 1978, the carcass of a Gangetic dolphin was found in a water body of the park.
In 2005, forest officials had located another dolphin in Budhabalanga river in Balasore district. Officials from Chilika Development Authority (CDA), Forest department and a few scientists from Japan had conducted a study on the mammal, which died in 2006, said wildlife scientist and former wildlife researcher of the Forest department Sudhakar Kar.
In 2009, Gangetic the dolphin was declared the National Aquatic Animal of India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his speech on India’s 74th Independence Day from the Red Fort in Delhi had announced ‘Project Gangetic Dolphin’.
The project is meant to conserve the rare species, which is found in four river systems of the world - the Ganges in India, Amazon (South America), Indus (Pakistan) and Yangtze (China), said Kar.