17 November 2016 National

Canal in Kochi Gets A Rare Visitor: A Humpback Dolphin Found Only In The Sea

Photos- Renju Ravi

It is not every day that one spots a dolphin in the sea, and definitely not in a canal. However, residents of Kochi, living along the backwaters of Vypin, were lucky enough to see a humpback dolphin in one of the narrow canals in the area. The mammal, which belongs to an endangered species of dolphins, was spotted on Tuesday evening in the Nayarambalam Punjapalam Thodu, attracting thousands of visitors to watch the spectacle.

Even though it was a rare sight for the residents, the 6-foot-long dolphin had a hard time swimming in the shallow waters of the canal. Seeing it struggle, the localites managed to take the dolphin, weighing around 150 kilogram, back to the sea on Wednesday. But instead of diving deep into the water, the dolphin was seen floating on the surface, an indication of its poor health.

Though no one has any idea about how the dolphin managed its way into the canal, few residents said that dolphins springing out of the backwaters are a common sight, especially during high tide.

Renju Ravi, who works with National Institute of Fisheries Post Harvest Technology and Training, said that the dolphin had travelled almost 15 kilometers from the sea to reach the mentioned canal.

A report said these mammals escape into estuaries in Kerala and Karnataka as they are rich in fish species like sardine, an absolute favorite of the dolphin. It also added that the increase in salinity of backwaters and lakes could also be another reason for this phenomenon.

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SECTION: National
OUTLOOK 17 November, 2016