Dolphins smile here

By: Brajesh Verma

The Ganges river dolphin can only live in freshwater and is essentially blind. They hunt by emitting ultrasonic sounds, which bounces off of fish and other prey, enabling them to “see” an image in their mind. They are frequently found alone or in small groups, and generally a mother and calf travel together. Calves are chocolate brown at birth and then have grey-brown smooth, hairless skin as adults. Females are larger than males and give birth once every two to three years to only one calf.

The dolphins are enjoying in the river Ganga between Sahebganj and Rajmahal, situated about 500 kilometers east from Ranchi, the capital of Jharkhand state of India.

Last year the Zoological Survey of India had made census in the river Ganga from Buxar (in Bihar state) to Sahebganj. It had been found that the dolphins were in good number.

According to the Bihar and Jharkhand chapter of Zoological Survey of India, about 500 dolphins had been located from Sultanganj (in Bhagalpur district of Bihar) to Sahebganj in the River Ganga.

“It is expected that about 150 dolphins are in the river water from Sahebganj to Kadhagola Ghat and in Rajmahal. The Ganga near Sahebganj is a heaven for the dolphins,” the reports added.

In between Sahebganj and Kadhagola Ghat those who cross the Ganga via country boats see every day the protected dolphins. “It cannot be described in words when we see a dolphin jumping in the river. Earlier the people used to kill them, but now poaching of dolphin is completely ban,” said Anant Ojha, the legislature of Rajmahal in Jharkhand assembly.

Before 1991, the poachers used to kill dolphins between Bhagalpur and Sahebganj for her oil for making medicines.

An incident had occurred in Bhagalpur in 1992 when an activist, Arvind Mishra, the convener of Mandar Nature Club had nabbed a person carrying a dolphin under Barari police station of Bhagalpur district.

“This was the first incident when a person had been arrested. When he was brought to the police station, the officer-in-charge had no information that killing a dolphin was a crime. Then the government made the river Ganga from Sultanganj to Sahebgnaj a protected area and signboards were installed near the bank of river killing a dolphin is crime,” Arvind said.”

“Few years ago we had found a dead dolphin in the river near Sahebganj. After postmortem it had been found that the cause of the death of the very dolphin was those country boats which were being used for ferry services,” he informed.

He further said that the Zoological Survey of India had written the Jharkhand government to control over such boats in which generators were being used for ferry service.

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