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Cambodia records third rare Mekong River dolphin death in gillnet this year

PHNOM PENH (XINHUA) – A Mekong River Irrawaddy dolphin calf had been found dead after being entangled in a fisherman’s gillnet in Cambodia, marking the third death of this rare species this year, according to the Fisheries Administration yesterday.

The 1.01-metre female dolphin weighed 14.4 kilogrammes and was about two months old, the administration said, adding that it was spotted dead on Wednesday afternoon in the Mekong River in Kandal province’s Muk Kampul district.

The dead dolphin was believed to have migrated with its mother or other dolphins from the upper stream of the Mekong River in Stung Treng and Kratie provinces to Kandal province to hunt for food during the high-water season.

“Since the start of 2023, five newborn dolphins have been reported, of which three were dead, bringing the number of living dolphins in Cambodia to 92,” the administration said.

The Irrawaddy dolphins have been listed as critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species since 2004.

The mammals live along a 180-kilometre main channel of the Mekong River in the northeastern Stung Treng and Kratie provinces.

Cambodia’s Fisheries Administration said there are 92 Irrawaddy living dolphins left. PHOTO: AFP