Dolphins which strayed into canal rescued in northern India
Location Barabanki, Uttar Pradesh, India. Date: 2023-05-22
Two dolphins, a male and a female, were rescued after they had strayed into Sharda canal through the Sharda river in northern India’s Uttar Pradesh.
This incident happened in Barabanki district on May 22.
Visuals showed one of these dolphins being taken away in a stretcher and loaded into a vehicle by the rescue officials. A huge crowd had gathered at the spot. According to a report, the male dolphin was of age 10 years and was five-and-a-half feet long. The female dolphin on the other hand, was six-and-a-half feet long and aged eight years. These dolphins were rescued by a US-based organisation named Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA).
Dr Shailendra Singh, the TSA programme director in India, said, “As the animals could be poached easily in canals, their timely rescue was inevitable. It has been observed that once they stray into a canal, they become disoriented and can’t find their way back into the main river.”
As per TSA biologist Arunima Singh who took part in this rescue operation, three types of nets were used. “After the animals were spotted in the canal, they were cordoned off from both sides of the canal using nylon nets. Subsequently, the animals were driven towards the nylon nets by using another set of drag nets. The female dolphin dodged the nets repeatedly forcing us to suspend the operation three times,” Dr Singh stated. She also shared that they have suggested changes be made in the designing of canal gates, which can restrict dolphins from straying in canals.
Instead of ordinary nylon nets, soft mosquito nets were used in this operation which would not hurt them. Both the dolphins were released safely in the Ghagra river in Bahraich.