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Protected Irrawaddy Dolphin Calf Found Dead in Kratie Province

KRATIE: A six-week old male dolphin calf was recently found dead in the Anlong Kampi Irrawady dolphin conservation area in Sambok commune, Chit Borey district, Kratie province, according to Ouk Vibol, the Director of the Department of Fisheries Conservation of the Fisheries Administration.

A fisherman reportedly found the calf’s carcass about 200 meters away from the Kampi pool, and contacted river officials to retrieve the body. The dolphin calf weighed around 13 kg, and its body length was around 102 cm.

Officials are working to determine the exact cause of death, however, the body was found with no significant sign of wound or trauma.

WWF Cambodia has reported that seven dolphins have died since January 2022, four calves and three adults.

The Director of the Department of Fisheries Conservation of the Fisheries Administration, Ouk Vibol, has expressed worry about the death rate of dolphin calves, urging authorities to strengthen river patrols especially at night. He has also called on the general public to become more actively involved in the conservation of freshwater dolphins, especially by stopping to use dangerous and prohibited fishing gear.

The Irrawaddy dolphins are listed as “critically endangered” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, which is the highest international threat ranking for endangered species. The freshwater dolphins are also fully protected under Cambodia’s Fisheries Law.

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