Barely a month and a half after the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh declared the dolphin as the national aquatic animal, a 1.16-metre long young dolphin was found dead near the Collectorate Ghat in the State capital on Saturday.
Taking a serious note of the killing of this protected animal, the Chief Wildlife Warden of Bihar, B A Khan immediately ordered the District Forest Officer Surendra Singh to investigate the matter and lodge an FIR against the guilty.
Though the killing of dolphins has been reported earlier too, from the different parts of the district, this is for the first time the poachers have dared to kill a dolphin that accidentally got trapped into the net of a fisherman.
The incident occurred at around 11.30 am but the killed dolphin was brought to the Environmental Science lab in the Patna University in the afternoon.
The environmental scientist and the member of the Ganga River Basin Authority of India, Dr R K Sinha later, contacted the Chief Wildlife Warden and sought protection for the endangered species.
Sinha said about 15 dolphins had been reportedly killed in the different parts of the State this year, adding, there was need to protect them. Khan said, besides lodging an FIR against the guilty, the government would also begin an awareness programme for the fishermen and those inhabiting on the banks of the river Ganga.
Only last week, the Government of India had constituted a working group headed by Sinha to prepare an action plan for the conservation of the Ganga dolphins. Other members of the group include PR Sinha, Director of Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, Anmol Kumar, DIG- Wildlife, SK Behra, scientist of World Wildlife Fund for Nature, RS Lal Mohan, scientist of Tamil Nadu and Gopal Sharma, scientist of Zoological Society of India, Patna.