Xinhua reported on the 22nd of July (2017) that a rare rough-toothed dolphin (Steno bredanensis), named Jiangjiang, was released back to sea earlier this week, two months after it beached itself and was rescued in Guangdong Province.
The 2.2-meter male dolphin was found stranded on the coast of Heisha Bay near the city of Jiangmen (200 km west of Hong Kong) on May 3. It was suffering breathing troubles, according to Yang Naicai, a vet who joined the rescue operation.
Rescuers checked the dolphin’s breathing, gave an injection of antibiotics, and provided food and medicine to help it regain its strength.
The animal was housed in a pool designated for dolphin rescue at the Pearl River Estuary Chinese White Dolphin National Nature Reserve.
“We maintained round the clock monitoring, hoping for a miracle,” said Chen Hailiang, from the reserve.
The dolphin, which weighs around 100 kg, was released back to the sea on Thursday as its physical condition had returned to normal.
Although the rough-toothed dolphin, a national second class protected species, can be found in deep tropical, subtropical and temperate waters around the world, it is a rare visitor to Chinese coastal waters.
In 2014, a rough-toothed dolphin stranded in Guangdong died despite rescue efforts.
On the morning of the 2nd July (2017), a man fishing at Kat Tsai Wan, off the west coast of Lamma Island, found a 2.5 meter long pink dolphin washed up on the beach. The man told Apple Daily that he could tell from his boat that the animal was dead.
The Ocean Park Conservation Foundation Hong Kong (OPCFHK) response team visited the site and conducted a necropsy on the beach. The dolphin was an adult female and was carrying an unborn calf at full term.
The male calf measured 1.02 m in length, was also dead. The foundation said in a statement that no net entanglement or evidence of physical trauma was found on either carcasses, and both were severely decomposed.
The OPCFHK team said the mother dolphin’s organs and flesh indicated that she was very healthy prior to her death. The team has took organ, blubber, and tissue samples for further testing, inlcuding for microplastics.
A team from the Ocean Park Conservation Foundation (OPCF) yesterday (24/3/2015) examined the dead body of a Chinese white dolphin found in waters near the Hong Kong airport.
The carcass was first spotted floating off of the Brothers, a pair of islands to the northeast of the Hong Kong International Airport.
The team was unable to determine the cause of death since the body was severely decomposed, but samples were collected for further study.
“Unfortunately, we can only confirm the cause of death in less than 10 percent of cases, mainly because most of the carcasses are badly decomposed when discovered,” said Shadow Sin, the assistant manager of scientific projects for OPCF.
It’s the third cetacean stranding case reported so far this year. This month also so the death of the injured dolphin nick-named ‘Hope’.
Hong Kong’s Chinese white dolphins, widely known as pink dolphins, are threatened by habitat loss and marine traffic.
The range of pink dolphins in Hong Kong has shrunk substantially since the construction of the Hong Kong International Airport at Chek Lap Kok.
If you spot a dead or distressed animal you should immediately call the Hong Kong government hotline at 1823.
Ocean Park Conservation Fund (OPCF) HK’s Cetacean Stranding Response Team is investigating a Chinese white dolphin (Sousa chinensis) stranding case yesterday (10th August 2014). A female adult measuring 2.53 m in length was found with bruises near the blowhole and both left and right flippers. Because the body was severely decomposed, the cause of death could not be readily determined and OPCF collected samples for further examination.
This case brings the total number of stranding case this year to 32. Please call 1823 to report any strandings.
A striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba) found stranded on a beach in Sai Kung on Saturday died yesterday despite efforts by Ocean Park staff.
“Necropsy of the dolphin indicated acute hemorrhagic pneumonia and associated sepsis involving all lymph nodes, liver and spleen,” Ocean Park said.
Ocean Park Conservation Foundation director Suzanne Gendron said: “Given the dolphin was extremely weak and had multiple external wounds, it was already a miracle that we were able to bring it back to Ocean Park for treatment after it was found beached in Sai Kung.”
Three hikers saw the dolphin stranded on the beach around 5pm on Saturday.
With many visible external wounds, the dolphin could not swim or surface to breathe on its own.
The Ocean Park Conservation Foundation Hong Kong Cetacean Stranding Response Team and Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department officials arrived at 9pm. They decided to move the dolphin to Ocean Park for medical treatment.
After examination, treatment and overnight observation, the dolphin died at 11.46am yesterday.
Ocean Park said the young male dolphin, measuring 2.05 meters and weighing 68 kilograms, was more than 20 percent below the expected normal weight for such length.
A healthy male adult striped dolphin would reach up to 160kg and 2.7m in length.
This was the first live striped dolphin found in Hong Kong waters. There have been five dead striped dolphins found prior to 1996.
The bloated carcass of a whale the length of a bus has been found at a remote beach in the New Territories’ northeastern tip.
The 10.8-metre-long animal, found beached in an inner bay off Hung Shek Mun, in Plover Cove Country Park, was thought to be a female Bryde’s whale.
When marine experts arrived yesterday morning, the rotting carcass was lying partially submerged in the shallow water, giving off a stench. It had a number of cuts on its body.
About 10 government and Ocean Park experts in protective gear were still inspecting the dead whale early yesterday evening. Police said a hiker had reported seeing a “huge fish” floating off Hung Shek Mun on Saturday evening.
“It looks like a Bryde’s whale,” Dolphin Conservation Society chairman Samuel Hung Ka-yiu said after seeing footage and pictures of the animal on the news. “It could have died at sea and then drifted in.”
Hung said it could have been dead for a couple of days since the carcass was bloated.
The authorities have yet to decide how to dispose of the dead whale. One option would be to cut up its carcass and remove it piece by piece.
Bryde’s whales, which can grow up to about 15 metres and weigh up to 40 tonnes, prefer warmer waters. Males are usually slightly smaller than females.
In 2009, a 10-metre-long humpback whale was spotted in Hong Kong waters. It was believed to be the first sighting of the species in the city. Experts believed the animal accidentally entered Hong Kong harbour after getting lost.
In 1994, the carcass of a Bryde’s whale was found in Tolo Harbour.
On the 12th of April 1955, a 9m long juvenile male finback whale (Balaenoptera physalus) was found dying in Victoria Harbour. It was subsequently humanely killed and towed to Aberdeen where it was cut into pieces. The meat was given to refugees while the skeleton was stripped of flesh and dried. Later it was put together and mounted at HKU. Because of damage to the skeleton, the mounting was refurbished in the 1990’s and the skeleton is now on display in front of the main building of the Swire Institute of Marine Science at Cape D’Aguilar.