Bhubaneswar: After almost three decades, Irrawaddy dolphin has been sighted in the Rambha sector of Chilika Lake in Ganjam district.
Official sources said the rare Irrawaddy dolphin was spotted at Rambha last week after illegal prawn gheries (enclosures) were demolished in a massive enforcement drive by the Chilika Development Authority (CDA).
Besides, the sighting of the dolphin assumes significance particularly in the backdrop of a sharp drop in its population in Odisha with their number declining to 134 in 2017 from 144 in 2015.
“Irrawaddy dolphins were being sighted in Rambha during the 1980s. The sighting of the animal would be a major boost to eco-tourism,” said CDA additional Chief Executive, Sasmita Lenka.
Lenka further informed that the crackdown on illegal prawn gheries has led to free movement of dolphins. Earlier, people from Khurda and Rambha were going to Satpada and Puri to see the dolphins.
“CDA will undertake a project for relocation of injured dolphins for rehabilitation and a task force will be set up for monitoring these activities,” Lenka added.