03:00 GMT24 January 2021
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    Gangetic Dolphins have been declared an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Last year, the government of India launched a Dolphin conservation programme to save the rare freshwater species.

    Police from the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh have arrested three men who were seen beating a rare Gangetic (Ganges River) Dolphin in a video on Friday. Police took action after the gruesome act, which was recorded by a local person, went viral on social media. People can be seen beating the dolphin with axes and rods as the mammal bleeds to death in the video.

    WARNING: THE FOLLOWING VIDEO IS DISTRURBING AND MAY OFFEND SENSIBILITIES 

    The person making the video can be heard saying "you killed the mammal without any reason". It seems that the locals mistook the rare aquatic mammal for a deadly fish. The incident took place on January 1.

    "The Dolphin was found dead by a forest department official and a close inspection of the body revealed multiple physical injuries," read the preliminary report registered by the Pratapgarh police station. 

    The Gangetic Dolphin is a rare species that was thought to have gone extinct in India due to an increase in water pollution and hunting. Poachers target the rare creature for its skin, oil, meat and fat. 

    Earlier this week, World Wildlife Foundation India and the state forest department spotted nine Dolphins after a gap of five years in Uttar Pradesh. 

    Often called the “doggies of water”, there are estimated to be about 5,000 such dolphins; they are found in the Ganges and its tributaries in Nepal, India, and Bangladesh.  The dolphins are also considered a potential ecological indicator mammal as they cannot survive in polluted water. 

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    Tags:
    Uttar Pradesh, Ganga River, dolphins, dolphin
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