Animal rights activists in India have fished out four dead whale sharks found floating off the Una and Kodinar shores in the last three days. Two of these were found on Friday while two others were recovered earlier in the week. As all the organs of the dead animals were found intact, activists believe that they were not killed by human poachers.
Dinesh Goswami, an activist for whale shark conservation, said that on Friday, they recovered two decomposed carcasses which appeared to be that of adult whale sharks. “We were informed by the local people about them and we rushed to the spot with a forest department team,” Goswami said.
He further said that only after the carcasses were washed ashore near Madvad in Kodinar taluka was it possible to see that they were decomposing. “The liver is the most important body part of whale sharks for which they are poached. In these cases, however, the livers were intact and there were no cut marks on the carcasses,” said Goswami.
He added that on the Wednesday before they had found a dead whale shark off Sayajrajpara in Una taluka, and then on Thursday, they had found a similar decomposed body of a whale shark betweenSarakhadi and Chara village in Kodinar.
Goswami said he suspected that a pollutant in the sea caused the death of the Whale Sharks. He theorised that perhaps an oil spillage from a tanker passing through that part of the sea may have polluted the water. He also added that he believed the death of the whale sharks needs to be investigated.
Post-Mortems on the animals found no external injury marks; cause of death is yet to be determined.