Carcass of India’s national aquatic animal — a female Gangetic dolphin was found floating in the Budhablanga river near Saupada in Remuna Block, Balasore district on Thursday. Like every morning, villagers were roaming around the river coast on Thursday morning too, meanwhile one of them spotted the dead fish floating on the river. Soon villagers dived into the river to find the aquatic animal dead. After identifying the carcass of an endangered dolphin fish, villagers informed the forest department.

Soon after getting the information, officers from the forest department visited the area of mishap and recovered the dead body of 1.9 meter long and nearly 31 kg heavy Gangetic dolphin. Forest officials took the body and sent it for postmortem which revealed that the 10-year-old female dolphin died after it suffered injuries in lower jaw as its long mouth got stuck in the fish net. The report further added that the wounds were so severe that the endangered species was unable to eat for next four to five days and eventually it starved to death in the Balasore district.

“We suspect that its jaw was stuck in a fishing net and broken. A portion of fishing net was found in its mouth. Owing to the  broken jaw, it could not eat anything for four to five days. During postmortem, nothing was found in its stomach,” said DFO Harsabardhan Udgata.

DFO went on to say that no female dolphin has been spotted in Balasore district during all previous census. However, the area hasn’t been deserted either as few male dolphins make appearances regularly. While forest officials claim that female dolphins have been seen twice in the area and in 2005, two females dolphins were spotted together.

Male dolphins follow the female dolphins for mating purposes. Due to the shortage of female dolphins in the Balasore region, male dolphins also refrain in visiting the area.