Indonesia: Activists help dolphin find way back to Mahakam River

N. Adri The Jakarta Post 22 Feb 17;

A pesut (Irrawaddy dolphin) that was found trapped in a swamp in Sangkuliman village, Kutai Kartanegara regency, East Kalimantan, is now free after local animal activists facilitated the mammal’s return to the Mahakam River.

“According to locals, the pesut had been trapped in the area for two weeks,” said Innal Rachman, an activist from Save the Mahakam Dolphin.

Following up on the report, the Rare Aquatic Species Indonesia (RASI) conservation foundation and Save the Mahakam Dolphin sent five people to check on the condition of the mammal. The East Kalimantan Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) also deployed a team to assist the dolphin.

RASI researcher Danielle Kreb said the dolphin did not immediately return to the Mahakam River after the activists made a way for it to swim. The animal instead played around with the activists.

Kreb said the RASI team would check again on Wednesday to see whether the dolphin had managed to return permanently to the Mahakam River. Activists will lead it to the river if it cannot find its own way back to its habitat.

This is not the first time a dolphin has been found trapped in the village area. “In 2002, there was a pesut trapped in Sangkuliman,” said Innal. In 2009, Innal added, a dolphin and its baby were also found trapped in the swamp. Villagers and the RASI team were able to save the dolphins and return them to the Mahakam River. (trw)

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