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Jakarta Post

Irrawaddy dolphin found dead in East Kalimantan river

  • N. Adri

    The Jakarta Post

Balikpapan   /   Thu, April 25, 2019   /   12:20 pm
Irrawaddy dolphin found dead in East Kalimantan river A local resident rescues a wounded Irrawaddy dolphin, or locally known as 'pesut'. (Tempo/-)

An Irrawaddy river dolphin, locally known as a pesut, was found dead in the Pela River in Kutai Kartanegara, East Kalimantan, on Monday afternoon, it is believed to have drowned.

The 122-centimeter-long mammal, an endangered species, had been trapped in a fisherman’s net.

“Hopefully this is the last one,” said researcher Danielle Kreb of the Rare Aquatic Species Indonesia (RASI) foundation.

Kreb said the ill-fated dolphin was a male, thought to be just three months old and still being nursed by its mother.

The young dolphin was probably trapped in another location before it drifted into Pela River as the mother was nowhere to be seen.

According to RASI data, there are fewer than 100 of the freshwater mammals in the area. They live in areas near to the Jempang, Melintang, and Semayang lakes and along the Mahakam River and its tributaries such as the Pela River.

Until 1990, pesut could still be seen in Samarinda, East Kalimantan’s provincial capital. Currently, they can only be found in particular spots in Kutai Kartanegara. The busy shipping traffic on the Mahakam, especially in coal transportation, has been blamed for their declining population.