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Stranded Indus dolphin rescued in Sukkur

This is 34th successful operation in two years

SAMAA | - Posted: Jun 17, 2021 | Last Updated: 2 months ago
Posted: Jun 17, 2021 | Last Updated: 2 months ago

A stranded Indus dolphin has been rescued and released back in the River Indus, the Sindh Wildlife Department said on Thursday.

The Indus River Dolphin Conservation Centre, Sukkur conducted the rescue operation.

“This type of highly sensitive operation is accompanied by a 100% risk of mortality,” the department said in a tweet.

“This is the 34th rescue operation in the last two years with zero mortality.”

The Indus River dolphin (Platanista gangetica minor), locally known as bulhan, is native to the Indus River in Pakistan. The freshwater cetacean is classified as endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of threatened species. It is one of the world’s rarest mammals and the second most endangered freshwater river dolphin after the Yangtze River dolphin.

Dolphins are one of only four river dolphin species and subspecies in the world that spend their entire lives in freshwater. Functionally blind, the species rely on echolocation to navigate, communicate and hunt prey, including prawns, catfish, and carp.

Fresh survey figures reveal that there is a constant increase in the endangered Indus blind dolphins population, which experts attribute to reduced poaching along with other conservation efforts in the habitat.

The Sindh Wildlife Department, the custodian of the blind Indus dolphins, conducted a fresh population survey from April 8 to 12, 2019 at the Guddu and Sukkur barrage reserves. According to the survey, the number of dolphins has risen to 1,419. There were only 132 dolphins found in the first survey conducted in 1972.

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