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Adult Dolphin Found Dead in Kampong Cham

KAMPONG CHAM: Cambodia lost another Mekong River dolphin this week in what the autopsy attributes to old age. This is the fourth dolphin death reported this year and the only one related to natural causes.

A 2020 census of Cambodia’s Irrawaddy dolphin population counted 89 of the critically endangered animals, down from 200 recorded in 1997. Fishing nets, dams and other human developments contribute to their decline each year.

This year, Cambodia has recorded seven new dolphins, but nine months in, two of the calves have died along with one adolescent and now, an adult.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the dolphin’s body was found near the Prey Toteung village in Kampong Cham province on the afternoon of September 12. The Fisheries Administration and the World Wildlife Foundation inspected the carcass and were able to identify it by its ID tag as a 27 year old female, weighing 105 kg and measuring 2.1 meters long. The average life expectancy of the dolphins is 25-30 years and an autopsy determined that she had died of old age.

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