Mumbai: After a longtime, exactly for the first time in six years, an Indian Ocean humpback dolphin was spotted between the Versova and Madh Jetty last week so close to shore.
N Vasudevan, additional principal chief conservator of forest, state mangrove cell said that there are several reports of pods of the species between Gateway of India and Elephanta Caves towards Thane creek end.
Dolphins are endangered cetacean species, protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. In 2017, the Indian Ocean humpback dolphin was classified as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. These dolphins usually live in shallow, coastal water, which puts them at high risk of getting entangled in fishing nets.
Vasudevan said that the spot where the dolphin was spotted would be monitored. “It’s possible that this individual might have lost its sense of direction or might be following a school of fish and landed up here. In any case, this species has a habit to come close to the coast, but coming so close to Versova area is unusual,” he said.