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Ghotki villagers endanger rare Indus dolphin after mistaking it for 'predator'

Ghotki villagers endanger rare Indus dolphin after mistaking it for ‘predator’

Ghotki residents put the life of a rare Indus Dolphin found in an agricultural canal in danger, first mistaking it for a predator, and then taking photos with the endangered species.

Ahmed Ali, a farmer in Ghotki’s Shahpur village, in whose canal the dolphin was discovered said that locals initially mistook the animal for a predator and tried to kill it.

When he learned the locals had found the dolphin in his canal, he rescued the helpless mammal and informed the concerned authorities.

As they waited for the authorities to arrive, the locals took the dolphin out of the water and began taking pictures with it, further endangering the dolphin’s life.

“This went on for about four hours,” Ali said. The dolphin was eventually released into the Indus River by Sindh Wildlife Department officials near Sukkur Wednesday morning.

“The dolphin weighed around 27 kilograms. We were unable to determine its age,” Taj Mohammad, an official of the wildlife department, told Dawn.com.

The Indus river dolphin (Platanista gangetica minor) is endemic to the Indus river system of Pakistan. The species has been classified as endangered by the IUCN, indicating that it faces a high risk of extinction in the near future.

Only about 1,100 of this unique species exist today in the lower parts of the Indus River in Pakistan.

Their numbers have declined as a result of dam construction along the river, which has split the population into small groups, as well as from water pollution, poaching and being accidentally caught in fishing nets.

courtesy : dawn news

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