GUWAHATI, June 6 - The Gangetic River Dolphin, known in Assamese as �Sihu�, was today selected as the City Animal of Guwahati. The Gangetic River Dolphin received the highest number of votes in the �Guwahati City�s Animal Voting Campaign� programme which was held both online and offline over the last three months by the Kamrup Metro district administration, Help Earth, Forest Department and the Assam State Biodiversity Board.
The result of the voting was announced today. Altogether 60,003 people voted in the contest.
The Gangetic River Dolphin received 24,247 votes and emerged winner. The Greater Adjutant Stork (Hargila) came second with 18,454 votes, while the Black Softshell Turtle (Bormuria Kaso) received 17,302 votes.
Announcing the result of the animal voting campaign at the Circuit House here, Kamrup Metro Deputy Commissioner Dr M Angamuthu said that today Guwahati has become the first city in India to have its own city animal.
�From today, the city animal of Guwahati shall carry forward the legacy of conservation and protection of urban biodiversity of Guwahati. However, mere declaration of city animal is not enough. From today, we have to jump into the work of preserving and conserving our city�s biodiversity,� he said.
Voting for selection of the city animal started in the first week of March and ended yesterday. Voting was done online through www.myanimal.in as well as offline voting centres set up in 76 schools and colleges of the city and in the office of the Kamrup Metro DC.
The contest has been taken as part of an initiative to create awareness about the endangered animals living in and around the city and help in their conservation.
According to Help Earth, less than 2,000 Gangetic River Dolphins are believed to be in existence now. The mammal can be seen in the Brahmaputra along Guwahati and it is under threat because of habitat destruction and due to trade for its oil and flesh.