Feb. 21, 2024

Endangered Chinese White Dolphin found dead in Guangzhou



The dead Chinese White Dolphin was about 2.5 meters long and weighed about 400 pounds.

The Chinese White Dolphin, which is a Class One State Protected Animal, is known as the "panda of the sea". It's numbers are scarce, and it is considered an endangered species. Even in the Zhujiangkou National Chinese White Dolphin Nature Reserve they are hard to find. Yesterday, a citizen of Nansha District found a dead Chinese White Dolphin in a river near Xiaohu Island, which is not the dolphin's habitat. Guangzhou Aquatic Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre has started an investigation.

The Chinese white dolphin is one of 78 kinds of cetaceans in the world, and is a Class One State Protected Animal. Their numbers are scarce. It was selected as the mascot for the change-over of Hong Kong in 1997. Chinese white dolphins like to swim where fresh water meets salt water in subtropical areas. Jiulong river estuary in Xiamen and Pearl River estuary in Guangdong are the biggest gathering areas for the Chinese white dolphins.

At 15:30 yesterday, a citizen found a dead Chinese white dolphin in a river nearby Xiaohu Island. “It was found near the dock of Guangdong Petrochemical. At the time, we had no idea what kind of dolphin it was. It's body had already begun to stink" said Mr. Zhong, one of the discoverers. He had worked in Nansha for years and he knew that there is a National Nature Reserve of Chinese White Dolphin in the Pearl River estuary. People doubted that it was the rare Chinese white dolphin. Then the workers in Nansha Fishery confirmed that the dead one was indeed a Chinese white dolphin, and brought the body of the dolphin ashore.

The dolphin was about 2.5 meters long and weighed about 400 pounds. Yesterday, the body was handed over to Guangzhou Aquatic Wildlife Rescue Center. "It'd been dead for two or three days when found,” said the relevant authorities in the Guangzhou Aquatic Wildlife Rescue Center. They explained that the dead dolphin was an adult that may have left the pod for some reason and strayed from the sea into the Pearl River estuary. There was no wound on its body and the specific cause of death is not clear, pending autopsy results. 



Translator: Xiaoxin Ding

Proofreader: Mark Skinner


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