PHNOM PENH, July 26 (FN) — A conservationist of critically endangered Mekong freshwater dolphins had drowned as two others got injured when their patrol boat sank during a storm in eastern Cambodia, a conservationist group said in a statement on Tuesday.
Le Sokleng, 32, a river guard of the Cambodia's Fisheries Administration, died on Sunday night in a big storm on the Mekong River, just 10 km away from a dolphin pool in Kratie province, the World Wildlife Fund-Cambodia (WWF-Cambodia), which works with the Fisheries Administration to preserve the dolphins, said the statement.
"The body was found this morning (Tuesday) 1 km away from where the accident happened, after a day searching for him," the statement said.
"We express our deepest condolences to his family. He was a hero, fighting for the sake of the river dolphins and for Cambodia' s natural treasures," it said.
According to the statement, two of his colleagues, that were on the same boat, got seriously injured.
Dolphin habitats are in a 180-km-protected area along the Mekong River in eastern Cambodia's Stung Treng and Kratie provinces.
According to a WWF survey last year, there are about 80 dolphins in the protected area.