An endangered pink dolphin that was stranded in Columbia’s Pauto River got a new lease of life after the country’s navy, air force and members of the civil society came together to ensure the mammal was saved.
In an elaborate conservation operation last week, the aquatic mammal was extracted from the shallow waters of the Pauto River and transported in a truck to the town of Paz de Ariporo from where it was airlifted and then released in safer waters.
This was no easy feat as the whole operation took 20 days to coordinate in order to save the pink dolphin, which can only survive in freshwater.
“A pink dolphin that was at risk of death, due to shallow water levels in the Pauto River, was rescued, transferred and later released into the Meta River near the municipality of Orocue,” the Columbian navy said in a statement.
“It should be noted that this species of aquatic mammal, scientifically known as Inia geoffrensis, has a presence not only in Colombia, but also in Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela, and has been classified as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature,” it added.
Experts say the rising water pollution and overfishing are the main causes behind the dwindling numbers of all freshwater dolphins.
In the video being circulated online, multiple navy and conservation experts can be seen struggling to first bring the dolphin out, then treating it and finally releasing it in the Meta River. The dolphin can then be seen swimming away in the waters.
The efforts of the Colombian government have touched animal lovers around the world.