Dolphin species thought extinct in Vietnam caught in Mekong Delta

VN Express –

An Irrawaddy dolphin, not seen in decades in Vietnam, was caught by a fisherman in the southern province of Ben Tre on Wednesday.

Phan Van Thai, 49, and his wife were fishing on the Co Chien River in Cho Lach District when they heard a loud splashing sound. On further inspection, they discovered a creature they could not identify trapped in their net.

“I’ve been fishing for the last 20 years, but I have never seen any fish as big and strange as this one,” Thai said. The creature was approximately 2.3 meters (7.5 feet) long and weighed 150 kilograms (330 pounds).

The animal was dead, and Thai stored it in ice and waited for authorities to identify it. It was later identified as an Irrawaddy dolphin, a species of dolphin previously thought to have disappeared from Vietnam’s Mekong River, Vu Long, director of the Center for Biodiversity Conservation and Endangered Species, told the media.

“In the last 30 years scientists have not recorded an Irrawaddy dolphin in Vietnam. I believe that the discovery of this dolphin species in the Co Chien River is an important, ground-breaking discovery that necessitates a research project.”

The dolphin was an old female which had lost all her teeth, he added.

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