PHNOM PENH, July 26 (Xinhua) -- 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.