WATCH: Stranded blind dolphins rescued from canal in Sukkur

Published: March 20, 2020
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One of the dolphins is pregnant, expected to deliver a calf in April or May. PHOTO: FILE

One of the dolphins is pregnant, expected to deliver a calf in April or May. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: The Sindh wildlife department (SWD) rescued two blind Indus dolphins stranded in Kirthar Canal, Sukkur, on Friday, releasing them back into the Indus River.

The presence of the dolphins in the canal was reported on Thursday, but according to department officials, the rescue operation had to be postponed till Friday due to the depth of water in the canal. They coordinated with engineers at the Sindh irrigation department to reduce the water level, allowing them to rescue the rare creatures.
According to a SWD spokesperson, one of the rescued dolphins was pregnant and is expected to deliver a calf in late April or early May.

In a tweet, SWD conservator Javed Ahmed Mahar explained that dolphins become stranded due to navigation system errors. “In case of blind dolphins, rescue becomes inevitable; else it could lead to mortality,” he tweeted.

Indus Dolphins get a brand new lifeline

The Indus dolphin is listed as endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature red list. In recent years, their numbers have been on the rise, despite the threat of pollution.

A survey carried out by the SWD last year revealed that there were 500 new river dolphins – a total of 1,419 dolphins – in the 200 kilometre Indus Dolphin Reserve between Sukkur and Guddu barrages, compared to 918 in the 2011 census.

Dolphins frequently are stranded in smaller waterways. A rescue centre has been established at the Sukkur barrage to ensure swift rescue efforts in such an eventuality.

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