Two pink dolphins, an endangered species, were rescued from a tributary of the Meta river (east) where they were trapped due to the shallow water, informed the Colombian Navy on Monday.
A video released by the institution shows several uniformed officers transporting the mammals with the help of a hammock and then specialists checking the animals’ condition on land while constantly spraying them with water.
“It looks a bit rustic, but this is an alarm that gives warning and does not give time,” explained Érika Gómez, coordinator of the Omacha Foundation, which participated in the rescue near the Venezuelan border along with the security forces, environmental authorities and NGOs, to AFP.
Faced with the risk of death of the mammals, the specialists acted immediately with the tools they had available in the area: hammocks and fishing nets.
In about 17 minutes they pulled the female and her calf out of the estuary where they were trapped, checked their good health, and finally freed them in the Caño Juriepe, located about 500 meters away on foot, added Gómez.
The rescue was carried out on Monday, February 13, thanks to a tip-off from the community, said Omacha. The adult female weighed about 140 kg and her calf, also a female, weighed about 35 kg, said biologist Gómez.
The pink dolphin or Inia geoffrensis by its scientific name inhabits Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru and Venezuela, and is classified as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
“Fishermen are among the main killers of the pink dolphin in Colombia, a mammal that can measure up to 2.8 meters long and weigh more than 220 kilos,” according to the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Research on Biological Resources (Instituto de Investigación de Recursos Biológicos Alexander von Humboldt).
Other threats in Colombia are the contamination of rivers with mercury and climate change, which causes this type of alteration of the river flows where they live.