Rare Ganges Dolphin Rescued from Uttar Pradesh Canal Released in Ghaghara River

Rare Ganges Dolphin Rescued from Uttar Pradesh Canal Released in Ghaghara River

With negative news all around, here is a little story to brighten your day.

A dolphin has been rescued from a canal and is now swimming safely in the Ghaghara river. The elusive Ganges river dolphin somehow got lost and stranded in a canal in Uttar Pradesh. Members of UP Forest Department and the Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA) joined hands to rescue this lost aquatic mammal.

The rescue operation was successful as evidenced by TSA’s Twitter post. According to the tweet, the 4.2-foot-long male dolphin went off course (for unknown reasons) and was stuck in a canal in Barabanki. The canal is known as Sharda Canal. Lucky for the dolphin, a quick response team from TSA was alerted and they worked in alliance with the UP forest department in this successful rescue mission.

The rescued dolphin was released in the Ghaghara river, one of the largest tributaries of Ganges. The team also shared some pictures along with the tweet. It features the process of rescue, then cleaning the animal, and later carrying it to the natural habitat. If allowed to roam free, the river dolphin can have a happy life of up to thirty years!

In the following tweet, the TSA thanked the fishermen involved with the rescue and rehabilitation mission. Due to their endangered status and protection under the Indian Wildlife Act (1972), it is illegal to hunt these animals.

The rescue operation happened to fall during the River Dolphin Week, as announced by the TSA chief and aquatic wildlife biologist- Dr Shailendra Singh.

Many Tweeple thanked and congratulated the teams involved with this mission for their diligence.

The animal rescued goes by many names. It is officially called South Asian river dolphin but in India is referred to as “Tiger of the Ganges.” The national aquatic animal of India, the freshwater river dolphin is what ecologists call an “indicator species” i.e. any animal group who is reflective of the ecosystem’s condition.

However, due to direct human interference (killing/fishing/hunting) and indirect interference (habitat fragmentation like the construction of dams and barrages and pollution), these animals’ count have declined rapidly. As of 2017, only 3,500 individuals remained in the Ganges.

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