Sunsari folk repent killing of dolphin

Itahari, September 19:

Locals of Mohar tole of Dumraha-3 in Sunsari, who did not know dolphins were an endangered fish species, are repenting for having killed a dolphin. They had killed dolphin in the Sera River on Saturday.

“A person told us we had killed one of the rarest fish species. We would not have killed it had we known that it was an endangered fish species,” said Ram Sewak Chaudhari of Dumraha-3.

Locals killed the dolphin weighing 100 kg and distributed its among themselves.

Our cadres took the head and tails of the endangered species, said Maoist district secretary, Hari Basnet, adding that the dolphin was killed due to the laxity of the Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve (KTWR).

There are four more dolphins in the Sunsari river, locals said, adding they came there from the Ganges.

Gangetic dolphins are found only in the Koshi River, but they have not been officially counted since 1998, said a ranger at the KTWR, Pashupati Adhikari, adding that there were 22 dolphins in the River in the year 1998.

According to Rabin Ghimire, a social worker of Prakashpur VDC, gangetic dolphins are found in the southern parts of the Koshi.

The KTWR has not launched any awareness programme in the VDCs about the need to conserve dolphins, said Ghimire.

Ranger Adhikari, however, said they have no fund to launch any awareness programme in the VDCs that lie beyond the buffer zone, adding that an awareness programme was launched in the VDCs lying inside the buffer zone.

According to a legal provision, any person found guilty of killing rare aquatic beings can be imprisoned for 10 years or made to pay Rs 70,000 or can be subjected to both fine and imprisonment.