Dolphin rescued from canal released into River Indus
SUKKUR: A stranded dolphin calf was rescued on Tuesday by a joint team of the World Wide Fund for Nature-Pakistan (WWF-P) and Sindh wildlife department along with local fishermen at Naulakhi minor irrigation canal in Naushero Feroze district.
Weighing around 6kg, the female calf was about 76 centimetres long. From the canal to the spot of release, it had to travel about more than one hour.
According to WWF-P officials, they dispatched a rescue team after receiving a call on the recently set up 24-hour helpline that a dolphin calf had stranded in the canal.
“The dolphin calf was carefully captured and transported in a sound-proof vehicle to get it released at Sukkur barrage. It was kept moist all the way until it was safely released in the river,” said WWF senior conservation officer Imran Malik.
Getting stranded in low waters was a constant threat that this endangered species faced, which usually occurred during the period of canal closures when flood gates were closed resulting in a drop in water level, he added.
“Intensive fishing in the core dolphin habitat is yet another threat which increases the probability of dolphins getting entangled in fishing nets,” he said.
According to Mr Malik, his organisation had initiated a number of programmes to protect dolphin population in collaboration with partners and has so far rescued more than 100 animals since 1992.
Under the Indus River Dolphin Conservation initiative undertaken by the WWF in collaboration with Sona Welfare Foundation, a dolphin monitoring network comprising representatives of relevant departments and local communities to monitor the Indus river and adjacent canals and tributaries has been set up.