After the post-mortem report on dolphins that washed ashore the city beaches, earlier this month, were found to be “inconclusive”, the chief conservator of forest has written to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) commissioner that incidents of ‘endangered species’ washing up on shore has to be reported on time to the forest department.
According to activists, on April 21, a dolphin was found dead at Marine Drive and it was directly taken to the Deonar dumping ground by BMC officials. Another one was found dead at Nariman Point a week later, and a finless porpoise was found dead at Dadar Chowpatty seashore in central Mumbai a fortnight later.
The dolphins, identified to be humpback dolphins, are protected under Schedule 2 under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
On Tuesday, N Vasudevan, Chief Conservator of Forests, Mangrove Cell, wrote to the BMC commissioner on the issue. The letter stated that there have been some incidents that have gone unreported to the forest department.
“Endangered species are protected under the Wildlife Act and attract provisions of it. In case of them washing up on the shore, the law dictates that a necropsy needs to be done to ascertain if it is a case of hunting. The report will help us prevent future unnatural deaths as well, so please ensure that these cases are reported to the forest department on time,” stated the letter.
According to the necropsy report on the humpback dolphin, most of the visceral organs were autolysed (state of decomposition that involves self digestion), therefore, the exact cause of death could not be ascertained.
“External investigation revealed that the dolphin’s physical condition was poor and rigor mortis was already passed off. Brown white discoloration of the whole body with a foul smell was also noticed. Skin over upper and lower jaw was noticed,” the report stated. And for the other dolphin, “a rupture of abdominal wall” was observed in the post-mortem.
Liver and stomach were recommended for forensic investigation for better diagnosis, the report further stated.