Three men in the state of Uttar Pradesh have been arrested after they were filmed beating an endangered river dolphin to death.
The video has since gone viral.
The December 31 attack involved at least seven young men violently hitting a Gangetic dolphin with wooden rods and an axe until it bled. They then suffocated the animal beneath the water of the Sharda canal. The dolphin carcass had injury marks.
The video shows one of the men as saying: “You are attacking it for no reason.”
Another person then adds: “Hit it now, hit it now.”
The dolphin was later found dead by a local official from the forest department.
But after footage of the attack went viral, three men were identified and arrested.
The Gangetic dolphin is an endangered and protected species and the national aquatic animal of India. There are thought to be fewer than 5,000 Gangetic dolphins left.
It is usually found in India’s Ganges river and Pakistan’s Indus river, and can be recognised by its long snout nose
Police have identified one of the arrested youth as Anuj. The other two share the same name, Rahul.
The rare freshwater dolphin is essentially blind, and is known locally as “susu,” a reference to the noise it makes when it breathes, according to the WWF. Female Ganges river dolphins give birth once every two to three years to only one calf.