Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Dim dolphin set free in Mekong

Dim dolphin set free in Mekong

Dim dolphin set free in Mekong

dim.jpg
dim.jpg

Conservationists prepare to lift the stranded dolphin from its sling.

AMekong dolphin that has been stuck for months in a tributary near Phnom Penh

after flood waters receded was set free March 13 with the help of NGO staff, government

officials, and local fishermen. Its companion was rescued from a nearby rice field

three months earlier.

"For some reason these two were a bit dim and didn't move back quickly enough,"

said Colin Poole, country program coordinator for the Wildlife Conservation Society

(WCS). "There's always a risk in moving animals, but it got to the point where

it was thin, so we didn't feel we could leave it much longer."

Department of Fisheries employee Phay Somany helps WCS as a project officer specializing

in water mammals. He said the team took great measures to ensure the safety of the

dolphin, catching it early in the day to protect it from the sun.

"It was not difficult to catch it, because we know the technique and the dolphin

was 100 percent good," he said.

To catch the dolphin, local fishermen beat the water with bamboo poles, and the noise

drove it into a shallow area. A bamboo enclosure corralled the dolphin, which was

then caught in a net and placed on a special sling. From there, the sling was carried

to the Mekong River.

"The first one [in December] was totally still and calm. It made a lot of dolphin

whistling noises," said Poole. "The second one thrashed around a bit."

But when released into the river, said Somany, both dolphins did much the same: "They

swam away around eight to ten meters, then they came to the surface. Then they dove

down and disappeared."

There are thought to be only 150 to 200 dolphins living in the Mekong, between the

Laos-Cambodian border and Kratie in the north-east. During the dry season they are

restricted to approximately a dozen deep water areas. Fishermen consider it bad karma

to catch or harm them.

MOST VIEWED

  • NY sisters inspired by Khmer heritage

    Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Cambodian-American sisters Edo and Eyen Chorm have always felt a deep affinity for their Cambodian heritage and roots. When the pair launched their own EdoEyen namesake jewellery brand in June, 2020, they leaned heavily into designs inspired by ancient Khmer

  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has given the green light for anyone who contracts the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron mutation or any other variant to convalesce or receive treatment at home or in any other reasonable non-healthcare setting. The new decision supersedes a restriction on home care for

  • Cambodia records first Omicron community case

    The Ministry of Health on January 9 reported 30 new Covid-19 cases, 29 of which were imported and all were confirmed to be the Omicron variant. The ministry also reported 11 recoveries and no new deaths. Earlier on January 9, the ministry also announced that it had detected the Kingdom's

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • PM eyes Myanmar peace troika

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has suggested that ASEAN member states establish a tripartite committee or diplomatic troika consisting of representatives from Cambodia, Brunei and Indonesia that would be tasked with mediating a ceasefire in Myanmar. The premier also requested that Nippon Foundation chairman Yohei Sasakawa