6,000 rare Irrawaddy dolphins found off Bangladesh coast
6,000 of the rare Irrawaddy dolphins have been spotted off the coast of Bangladesh, which is a hopeful sign that the species is making a comeback.
They are however, threatened by climate change and fishing in the region and they will need supervision and care in order for them to keep growing.
These dolphins are close in relatives to orca whales, and the largest number found before this, was only in the low hundreds.
"This discovery gives us great hope that there is a future for Irrawaddy dolphins," said Brian D. Smith, the study's lead author. "Bangladesh clearly serves as an important sanctuary for Irrawaddy dolphins, and conservation in this region should be a top priority."
They grow up to about 8 feet in length and live in the freshwater lagoons, rivers and esturaries around south and southeast Asia.
The total number of them left in the world is unknown.