The Mandapam forest range personnel who had rescued a young female dolphin on Tuesday and put it back into the Gulf of Mannar found it dead and washed ashore in the range on Wednesday.

Mandapam Forest Range Officer S. Sathish said after the dolphin, identified as Humpback dolphin, was found washed ashore in Paradi with injuries in the eye, the forest personnel, with the help of local fishermen, rescued it and put it back into the sea.

After veterinary surgeon Veera Manikandan conducted the portmortem, it was buried on the seashore, he said. The surgeon said the dolphin could have suffered injuries after hitting against rocks and succumbed to the injuries.

Mr. Sathish said the dolphin weighed 45 kg and it measured 174 cm in length, 46 cm in breadth and 92 cm in circumference. The front dorsal fins measured 26 cm in length and 14 cm in breadth, he said. The species habitat in the Gulf of Mannar and is protected under schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act.

Dolphins faced no threat in the region as fishermen never hunt them for meat, he said. At least six dolphins had died after crashing against rocks or fishing vessels last year, he said. Other species habitat in the region included spinner, bottlenose and rough-toothed dolphins, he said.

This was the fifth dolphin to die in the Mandapam range since January this year, he said. Forest personnel found decomposed carcass of an adult male dolphin at Agnitheertham seashore on January 22. Two more carcasses, including the carcass of an adult male dolphin, were found washed ashore on Danushkodi seashore in March. The carcass of a highly decomposed dolphin was found washed ashore on Kunthukal seashore on May 9, he added.

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