locals watching dolphins in Kailali. photo: Ganesh ChaudharyFascinating sights of frolicsome antics of rare dolphins suddenly strike everyone’s attention in the water of Mohana, Kandra, Pathraiya and Kadha rivers these days in Kailali.
The locals throng to the banks of these rivers to watch these dolphins from a close distance of 2 to 5 meters. Locals are mesmerized and spellbound to see dolphins jumping high and dive into the river for free. This center for observing dolphins is only 12 km from Tikapur of Kailali district.
The pranks of the dolphins are seen as soon as there is a sudden upsurge of water level in most of these rivers during monsoon, as these dolphins appear in this water only during the monsoon, says local Bhoj Raj Dhungana.
After the monsoon is over, the dolphins are not seen in these rivers. They (dolphins) go back to the deeper rivers. The dolphins are expected to be seen in these rivers till the first week of September.
Thirty years ago, the dolphins were seen only in the rivers of Karnali, Koshi, Gandaki and Mahakali and the total dolphin number was estimated to be around 30 to 40 only. However, more than 30 dolphins have been seen at the main center of observations in Kailali only. It indicates that there could be a larger number of dolphins in Nepal.
Karnali, Mohana, Kanara rivers are the centers of observing the movement of dolphins. The center lies on the border of Tikapur municipality and Bhajani municipality. Several pods and superpod of dolphins have been seen at these centers. Previously, the locals due to ignorance used to kill the dolphins, considering them as far developed fishes.
However, the outlook of the locals has gradually changed towards the dolphins. They have started conserving the dolphins as rare animals. The locals believe that these dolphins enter into rivers of Nepal during monsoon through the Indian River Ghagra, which is 25 km far from the Kailali based centers for dolphin observation, says local Bhoj Raj Dhungana.
The rare species of dolphins are seen around the world in the rivers of Nepal, India, Pakistan, China, and Brazil. The size of dolphins that usually appear in the rivers of Nepal is 9 feet in length and 180 kilos in weight according to the locals.
Local Bhim Biswakarma says that dolphins can be watched by taking the support of a riverbank or a boat. “At first, we did not know that there are dolphins. Now we have come to see them jumping in the water,” says Biswakarma.
With increased information networking regarding the pod of dolphins found in these rivers, even tourists are interested to come here and watch dolphins. “If dolphins are preserved and tourists come to see them, the local economy can be upgraded,” says Bishwakarma.
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