India’s national aquatic animal is the Gangetic Dolphin (River Dolphin). Carcass of a rare female Gangetic dolphin was recovered from Budhabalanga River near Sahupada in Remuna block of Balasore district, Odisha on Thursday.
Some villagers spotted the carcass floating and informed the forest officials. Its length was 1.9 metre and weighed 31 kg. The length of its snout was 40 cm. Forest officials said the Gangetic dolphin is included in the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species. They are born blind.
DFO Harsabardhan Udgata said this female dolphin was never spotted during any census in Balasore division. A male dolphin that was sighted near Baripada is alive.
The DFO said that the dolphin died of starvation after its lower jaw was broken. “We suspect that its jaw was stuck in 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,” the forest officer said.
On the other hand, forest officials in Baripada claimed that two dolphins were spotted in Budhabalanga river near Kudimunda lake in 2005.
While the female dolphin was not found after six months, the male used to change its place often. In September 2011, the male dolphin was once again seen in the river near Madhuban.
In December last year, a bottlenose dolphin was released in Salandi River in Bhadrak district. The injured dolphin was rescued from a water body near Badasinghpur village in Chandbali block.