By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, June 6: The Ganges river dolphin (xisu) pipped the black softshell turtle (bor kaso) and the Greater Adjutant stork (hargila) to emerge as Guwahati's city animal in an online voting conducted by the Kamrup metropolitan administration.
Seventy six schools and colleges across Guwahati participated in the online voting which ended on June 5 midnight.
Around 60,000 students participated in the voting. The Ganges river dolphin received 24,247 votes, the Greater Adjutant stork 18,454 votes while the black softshell turtle got 17,302 votes.
"Guwahati is the first city in India to have its city animal. From this date, the Ganges river dolphin will carry forward the legacy of conservation and protection of urban biodiversity," a press note from the administration said.
Deputy commissioner M Angamuthu said it is the first step towards protecting and conserving the endangered animal.
"Guwahati is a rich biodiversity hotspot. To conserve this heritage of Guwahati and to generate mass knowledge and awareness, the concept of city animal was born. The objective of the campaign was to create awareness among the public, particularly among students and the young generation. We will try to make the animal iconic to the city by putting representations in various programmes," the DC said.
The world population of the Ganges river dolphin is less than 2,000. It is found in various stretches of the Brahmaputra, particularly in and around Guwahati, and Subansiri. The animal is suffering because of habitat destruction and trade of oil and flesh.