Mekong dolphin

Irrawaddy Dolphin Calf Born on New Year’s Eve

Cambodia’s critically-endangered Irrawaddy dolphin population has received a boost after the sixth calf of the year was born on New Year’s Eve.
Dorsal fin photo of the dolphin with spotted swimming in Chheu Teal pool. Picture: Tan Somethbunwath / FiA / WWF-Cambodia
Dorsal fin photo of the dolphin with spotted swimming in Chheu Teal pool. Picture: Tan Somethbunwath / FiA / WWF-Cambodia

The year 2021 ended on a high when a new dolphin calf was spotted in the Mekong River at Kratie – the sixth in the year.

On Thursday, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) made the announcement about the latest sighting of the critically-endangered species.

“The year 2021 has ended with joyful news esp. for the freshwater #Irrawaddydolphin population & the #Mekong ecosystem,” WWF said in a Tweet, adding the calf was spotted on December 31 swimming in the waters of the Kampi pool in Kratie.

Dolphin birth records in 2020 showed nine calves were born and the latest population census estimates just 89 dolphins still swim in the river, according to WWF.

“Stronger & more collective actions are needed to protect the Mekong Dolphins from extinction & save our free-flowing Mekong new before it’s too late,” they said in the Tweet.

The Mekong River in Cambodia home to critically-endangered Irrawaddy dolphin, one of just six river dolphins in the world.