Officials in Bangladesh have reportedly said on May 10 that carcass of a freshwater dolphin have been found in a river sanctuary. They added that the rare sight caused fears as the fishermen are taking advantage of the coronavirus lockdown to poach the endangered species. Fishery department official Abdullah al Mamun reportedly told media that locals in the southeastern town of Raojan discovered the 62-inch (157-centimetre) long Ganges river dolphin on the banks of the Halda River.
He added that the creature had suffered a sharp and deep injury from its neck to tail and layers of its body fat were missing. Manzoorul Kibria, coordinator of the Halda River Research Laboratory (HRRL) reportedly said that this dolphin is the second to be found dead in the same sanctuary since Bangladesh has imposed lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus. According to the reports, Bangladesh restricts the killing of Ganges dolphins which are categorised as endangered under the International Union for Conservation of Nature's "Red List" of threatened species.
A local official on the condition of the anonymity reportedly said that the locals have started trawling the river as police who usually guard the region were busy enforcing the lockdown in Raojan. Local forestry department head Yasin Nawaz added that they are trying to make a living by catching fish illegally.
Meanwhile, WWF claims that the Ganges river dolphin was officially discovered in 1801. Ganges river dolphins once lived in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna and Karnaphuli-Sangu river systems of Nepal, India, and Bangladesh. But the species is extinct from most of its early distribution ranges.
Its website read, "the Ganges river dolphin can only live in freshwater and is essentially blind. They hunt by emitting ultrasonic sounds, which bounces off of fish and other prey, enabling them to “see” an image in their mind. They are frequently found alone or in small groups, and generally a mother and calf travel together. Calves are chocolate brown at birth and then have grey-brown smooth, hairless skin as adults. Females are larger than males and give birth once every two to three years to only one calf."