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Guwahati 1st Indian city to have a city animal

Guwahati on 6 June 2016 became first city in the country to have its own ‘city animal’ with Kamrup metropolitan district administration declaring Gangetic River Dolphin as its mascot.
•    Gangetic River Dolphin is locally known as ‘Sihu’ and fewer than 2000 such animals remain in the River Brahmaputra along Guwahati.
•    In the three-month long voting process Gangetic River dolphin received 24247 votes out of 60003 total votes.
•    On the other hand, the Greater Adjutant Stork got 18454 votes while the Black Softshell Turtle got 17302 votes.
•    The Gangetic Dolphins are also called as the ‘Tigers of Ganga’ as it enjoys the position in Ganga that is equivalent to that of the tiger in the forest.
•    Its scientific name is Platanista gangetica.
•    Ganges River Dolphins prefer deep waters, in and around the confluence of two or more rivers. They share their habitat with crocodiles, fresh water turtles and wetland birds.
•    The distribution range of the Ganges River Dolphins in India covers seven states namely, Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal.
•    Rivers where these dolphins are found: River Ganges, Chambal (Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh), Ghaghra, Gandak (Bihar and Uttar Pradesh), Sone and Kosi rivers (Bihar), River Brahmaputra from Sadia up to Dhubri and Kulsi River, a tributary of the Brahmaputra river,
•    The Ganges River Dolphin has a sturdy, yet flexible, body with large flippers and a low triangular dorsal fin. It weighs up to 150 kg. Females are larger than males.
•    The Gangetic Dolphins are generally blind and catch their prey by emitting an ultrasonic sound which reaches the prey.
•    A Ganges River Dolphin Conservation Programme was initiated in 1997 to build a scientific database of the population status of the species and study the habitat quality of the dolphins' distribution range.

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