Fishermen in Kratie province on Friday found the carcass of a female Irrawaddy dolphin, weighing nearly 200 kilograms, in Kratie city.
A WWF statement on Friday said that its research team, in collaboration with provincial fisheries administration officials, estimated that the marine mammal was between 25- to 27-years-old and could have died from old age.
It noted that the dolphin was 2.23 meters long and weighed 191 kilograms. This is the fourth dolphin death in the province since January.
“We are sorry to hear that a female dolphin was found dead,” the WWF statement said. “The carcass has been collected and stored in a fridge at our office in the province before an autopsy.”
Villagers from the district’s Kampi village who discovered the carcass in the lake believe that the dolphin had been dead for more than two days.
Sean Kin, provincial fisheries administration director, yesterday said that officials did not find any sign of injury on the dolphin and concluded that it died from old age.
“However, we have sent the carcass to WWF to conduct more tests to find out the exact cause of the death,” he said.
On April 18, a team of WWF and fisheries administration officials spotted a new dolphin calf aged about seven days old swimming with five adult dolphins in Kampi lake. The research team based in Kratie, said it was the sixth calf sighting since January.
A previous WWF report said that nine dolphins were born last year. The species is endangered.
The report also noted that the dolphin population in Kratie and Stung Treng provinces had increased to 92 in 2017, the highest it had been in more than 20 years. However, it noted that dolphin habitats in the Mekong, continue to face threats.