Death of a dolphin

The fact that there is no point crying over spilt milk is well stated. These days some locals of Mohar Tole of Dumraha 3 in Sunsari are doing exactly this. The reason? They killed a dolphin in Sera River on Saturday not knowing that the species falls under the endangered category. Had they known this, they might have desisted from the irresponsible act. What’s worse, they even feasted on the rare aquatic’s 100 kg flesh. This anti-conservation activity is not only a criminal act but also points to the laxity on the part of Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve (KTWR) functionaries. Gangetic dolphins are found in the Koshi River but fresh data is not available since 1998, when there were 22 dolphins, according to a KTWR ranger.

This regrettable episode calls for the launching of an awareness campaign so that fishing and poaching of all the endangered species like the one-horned rhino and the Royal Bengal Tiger can be completely checked. This should be matched with strict enforcement of the existing law. In the past, several one-horned rhinos have been slaughtered in Chitwan. As many as 94 rhinos have reportedly been poached upon since 2000 when they numbered 612. This needs to stop as conservation areas constitute Nepal’s natural heritage and is vital for the tourism industry’s growth and maintenance of eco-balance along with preserving the bio-diversity. Privatisation of national parks, along with reasonable safeguards, does not sound like a bad idea. Lastly, all potential poachers should be warned about the 10-year jail term and a fine of Rs.70,000 or both that, if caught, can be imposed on them.