An intensively polluted Mekong River has resulted in alarmingly low populations of the freshwater Irrawaddy dolphin. Numbers are now less than 100, with more than 50 calves who have lost their lives since 2003 from toxic levels of pesticides, mercury, and other pollutants that suppressed their immune systems.
The species has been listed as critically endangered by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) since 2004, and Seng Teak, Country Director of WWF Cambodia, stated, “A trans-boundary preventative health program is urgently needed to manage the disease-affected animals in order to reduce the number of deaths each year.”
We shed tears to know of the suffering of these aquatic co-inhabitants, and pray that they may remain strong as we strive to restore their habitat to healthy purity through our more caring stewardship of Earth.
During a July 2008 videoconference in Formosa (Taiwan), Supreme Master Ching Hai reminded once again of our impact on the lives of others, saying that it is through our consideration of other beings that we can ensure the welfare of all inhabitants.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Farm animals get sick due to pesticides. Fish die because of farming insecticides, pesticides, etc. Wild species suffer similar fates because we also drain our chemical substances, insecticides, pesticides into the rivers, into the lakes, into the oceans.
So we lost many of these precious species, we lost many, many of us, because they are us.
And we also lose ourselves, many of us humans, because of these poisonous substances – even from the farm industry -and we still did not wake up yet.
So we must protect the environment. And the wild, they can take care of themselves. If the environments are friendly and conducive to a healthy lifestyle, then the wild will never get sick. The wild will have no problem.