A dolphin was beaten to death by a group of men who used sticks and rods to beat the helpless animal in a vicious attack in India.
The disturbing incident, which took place on December 31, was filmed in Uttar Pradesh in the country’s far north.
In the footage, at least three men can be seen beating the critically endangered freshwater Ganges river dolphin as one man pins the animal down.
The dolphin struggles to free itself but is powerless against the group of men as blood pours from its body.
Towards the end of the 30-second clip, the dolphin appears to show few signs of life from the vicious attack.
“You are assaulting it for no reason,” one man can be heard saying, according to NDTV.
A forest department official who responded to a call about the incident, reportedly found the animal lying lifeless by the side of the Sharda Sahayak canal.
The official said the dolphin had received multiple injuries, including axe wounds. Villagers were reportedly unwilling to reveal how it died.
Three men have since been arrested after the video went viral on social media, according to the Pratapgarh Police Department.
In November, the gutted carcass of an endangered freshwater dolphin was found in a river sanctuary in Bangladesh, leading wildlife officials to express fears of a spike in poaching during the country’s coronavirus lockdown.
Residents in the town of Raojan spotted the body of the Ganges river dolphin on the banks of the Halda River, AFP reported. It contained a deep incision from the neck to the tail.
Poachers appeared to have gutted the 62-inch-long animal, removing layers of body fat—a product that is used in local traditional medicine—Abdullah al Mamun, an official from the Bangladeshi fishery department, told AFP.
The Ganges dolphin is critically endangered. According to the World Wildlife Fund, there are thought to be between just 1,200 and 1,800 Ganges river dolphins left living in the wild in Nepal, Bangladesh and India.
Concerns over poaching during coronavirus lockdowns have been raised by wildlife officials in countries around the world.
Poaching attempts have increased in Kaziranga National Park in India, which is home to the world’s biggest population of one-horned rhinos, during the country’s lockdown, AFP reported.
There has also been a spike in the killing of other animals in India, with poachers targeting the endangered Indian gazelle, peacocks, and other species, according to The Hindu Times.
Three Men Arrested for Beating Dolphin to Death in Vicious Attack – Newsweek