Rare dolphin dies after rescue
FORTY-FIVE days of treatment failed to save a beached and injured Chinese white dolphin, an endangered species, in Yantian District.
The female dolphin, named Meimei, was found stranded on the shore Sept. 28 in Bifengtang, with injuries on her back, abdomen and fin, Shenzhen Evening News reported yesterday.
Xiaomeisha Sea World’s aquatic wildlife rescue center sent staff to bring the dolphin in for treatment. Meimei was the 13th offshore ocean animal rescued by the center. Experts from Ocean Park in Hong Kong came to help with the treatment, the paper said.
Meimei was unconscious and had a weak heartbeat during treatment, and died Tuesday morning. Hong Kong experts dissected the dolphin Tuesday afternoon, in hopes of finding the cause of death.
Xiaomeisha Sea World will cooperate with the Chinese white dolphin protection base in Zhuhai to turn Meimei’s remains into a specimen for display and education.
Known as the “panda of the sea,” the endangered Chinese white dolphin is one of 78 species known as cetacea — an order of marine mammals that includes whales, dolphins and porpoises — in the world.
The Chinese white dolphin has a low reproduction and survival rate, and gives birth every three years. There were only 802 Chinese white dolphins as of 2011, according to the national Chinese white dolphin protection reserve at the mouth of the Pearl River. (Source: Shenzhen Daily)