A dead Gangetic dolphin was found in the Chankhali canal connected to the Halda river, the only natural breeding ground in the country for Rui fish and other carp. This is the first dolphin death off the Halda river this year.
Hathazari Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Ruhul Amin retrieved the dead dolphin from the canal in Mekhal Union of Hathazari Upazila on Tuesday afternoon.
"A dead dolphin floating in the canal under Chankhali Bridge was recovered upon information from locals. We have taken pictures of the dolphin's body on the advice of the Halda River Research Laboratory and have buried it," Amin said.
Professor Manjurul Kibria, coordinator of the Halda River Research Laboratory at the University of Chittagong, said, "The dead dolphin, was about 8 and a half feet long, weighing about 120 kg. Locals said they did not see any injuries on its body, indicating that it died of natural causes."
The Gangetic dolphin, an endangered aquatic animal, usually roams the Halda River, the only natural fish breeding ground in the country. But due to man-made disasters and rising salinity, the habitat of mother fish as well as dolphins is now under extreme threat.
According to Professor Kibria, Gangetic dolphins are only there in the Halda and Karnaphuli rivers of Bangladesh, and the Ganges in India. These dolphins have developed their unique characteristics living in their natural habitat for hundreds of years.
The number of dolphins in the Halda river have been dwindling in recent years, coming down from 167 to 126. In the last three and a half years since September 2017, 29 dolphins have died in this river.