Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Second Irrawaddy dolphin calf seen in Mekong River

Second Irrawaddy dolphin calf seen in Mekong River

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A dolphin calf was seen in Mekong River in Stung Treng province last week. WWF

Second Irrawaddy dolphin calf seen in Mekong River

A six-day-old Irrawaddy dolphin calf was spotted among four adults at Kampi Resort along the Mekong River in Kratie province on the evening of March 5, World Wildlife Fund-Cambodia said via Facebook.

Researchers from the Fisheries Administration and WWF-Cambodia lit up with elation at the scene of the second dolphin calf recorded this year, following a sighting of a week-old calf at a natural sanctuary in Stung Treng province late last month.

“The current events represent one of the most encouraging encounters by the research team as part of their dolphin monitoring and photo-ID based surveys,” WWF-Cambodia said.

WWF-Cambodia public affairs director Tep Asnarith told The Post on March 7 that the Irrawaddy dolphin is critically endangered according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.

He stressed that each dolphin is critical to the continuation of this valuable freshwater species.

“I, as well as WWF, am very excited about having logged two new baby dolphins in 2021,” he said.

According to Asnarith, the presence of the dolphins indicates ecological quality and high levels of biodiversity along the Mekong River which can support human, animal and plant life that is dependent on the river ecosystem.

Last year, researchers registered nine newborn dolphin calves and 13 in 2019, WWF-Cambodia figures show.

Separately, Ratanakkiri provincial Department of Environment rangers on March 6 handed over two leopard-cat kittens (Prionailurus bengalensis) – another rare and vulnerable species – to BirdLife International.

Department head Phon Khemrin told The Post that the kittens had been found a day earlier by officials stationed at Border Police Battalion 623, who said the parents had fled attack by village dogs.

Its chief Nin Nan turned the kittens over to the rangers, he said, pointing out that the police outpost is located in Nhang commune’s Tang Chi village in the province’s Andong Meas district.

“Without the technical expertise to take care of these young animals, our team was obliged to hand them over to a partner organisation [BirdLife] to take care of them for the time being,” Khemrin said.

BirdLife International’s Cambodia Programme Manager Bou Vorsak told The Post that the kittens were now in the care of his team at the Ratanakkiri branch. “We will send them to the Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity to look after them, and when they grow up and have the ability to forage on their own, we will release them into protected areas.”


  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Businesses in capital told to get travel permit amid lockdown through One Window Service

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has issued guidelines on how to get travel permission for priority groups during the lockdown of Phnom Penh, directing private institutions to apply through the municipality's One Window Service and limit their staff to a mere two per cent. In

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Ministry names types of business permitted amid lockdown

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training singled out 11 types of business that are permitted to operate during the lockdown of Phnom Penh and Takmao town, which run through April 28. Those include (1) food-processing enterprises and slaughterhouses; (2) providers of public services such as firefighting, utility and