Rare Ganges River dolphin beaten to death in India
Police in India's northern Uttar Pradesh state have arrested three people allegedly involved in the killing of the endangered Ganges River dolphin after a video of the grim incident went viral on social media.
Investigating officer Akhilesh Pratap Singh told CNN that the dolphin's carcass was found on the embankment of the Sharda canal in the Pratapgarh district on December 31.
On Thursday, three individuals allegedly seen on the video were arrested, police said. Nine people -- also seen on the video -- are currently still on the run, according to Singh.
डॉल्फिन का भयानक क़त्ल:— Kamal khan (@kamalkhan_NDTV) January 8, 2021
यू पी के प्रतापगढ़ में शारदा नहर में बह के आ गयी एक डॉलफिन को लोगों ने पीट पीट कर मार डाला।यह गंगा की डॉलफिन है,जो खत्म होने की कगार पे हैं।यह जुर्म है।तीन लोग गिरफ्तार किए गए हैं। pic.twitter.com/QjrEi3eAiq
The Ganges River dolphin was "once present in tens of thousands of numbers" but has now "dwindled abysmally" to a population to less than 1,800 in the last century, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) India.
"Living in one of the most densely populated parts of the world, the Ganges River dolphin faces threats from agriculture and industrial pollution and other human activity such as dam creation, irrigation projects and fishing," according to the WWF, who says that development "divides and isolates populations."
The rare freshwater dolphin is essentially blind, and is known locally as "susu," a reference to the noise it makes when it breathes, according to the WWF.
When it hunts, the dolphin emits ultrasonic sounds that bounce off fish and other prey that allows them to visualize an image in their mind.
Female Ganges River dolphins give birth once every two to three years to only one calf, according to the WWF.