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Villagers kill rare blind dolphin stranded near Nawabshah

KARACHI: Villagers killed a rare Indus River dolphin, also known as the blind dolphin, stranded in Gujjar Canal near Nawabshah city of Sindh.

A group of villagers took out the dolphin stranded in the canal and carried it on their shoulders while others tried to touch it. The dolphin was found dead.

Indus dolphins are listed on IUCN Red List of endangered species. In 2019, there were only 1,419 dolphins in the 200 kilometre-long Indus Dolphin Reserve between Sukkur and Guddu barrage. 

Wildlife biologist and nature conservationist Uzma Khan said the Sindh Wildlife Department is trying to identify those responsible for the incident.

“In a brutal, disturbing & sad event today an #indusriverdolphin was killed by the community near nawabshah, sindh from a canal,” she said in a tweet. ” Sindh wildlife dept is trying to get hold of those responsible.”

According to Sindh Wildlife Department, Deputy Conservator Shaheed Benazirabad Division received a report about the presence of a baby Indus dolphin in a minor irrigation distributary Rohri Canal of Sukkur Barrage system.

Sindh Wildlife staff reached the spot and were informed that some local residents have taken away the dolphin to their village. The villagers were contacted on phone and informed of the offence but they ignored the warning and as a result of mishandling the dolphin could not survive.

Sindh Wildlife officials said a criminal case has been registered under Section 9 and 21 of the Sindh Wildlife Act 2020. The punishment for the offence is up to three years imprisonment and a fine of up to Rs. 500,000.