Phnom Penh, December 27, 2022 — Three endangered freshwater dolphins have died within 10 days of each other, alarming conservationists in Cambodia.
The death of a third healthy dolphin in such a brief period indicates “an increasingly alarming situation and the need for an intensive law enforcement be urgently conducted in the dolphin habitats,” the World Wildlife Fund said in an announcement Monday.
The latest Irrawaddy dolphin death — believed to have stemmed from entanglement in an illegal fishing line — spotlighted the need for law enforcement to help save the species, also known as the Mekong River dolphin, according to the statement.
The WWF said the body of a healthy female dolphin estimated to be between 7 and 10 years old was found floating in the river Saturday in the eastern province of Kratie. It said an examination of its carcass suggested that the dolphin, 196 centimeters (6 1/2 feet) long and 93 kilograms (205 pounds), had been hooked and wrapped in a tangle of fishing line.
Seng Teak, WWF Cambodia director, said in the statement that without immediate action “the recent increase in illegal fishing activities in the dolphin conservation areas” would destroy the Mekong River dolphin population in Cambodia. – AP