12 Endangered Yangtze River Dolphins Found Dead in Past Month

Endangered Yangtze river dolphins found dead in Hunan.

Endangered Yangtze river dolphins found dead in Hunan.

On the heels of a Chinese White Dolphin sighting in Guangdong, and not to be confused with the presumably already extinct Baiji river dolphin (again, another species), news has been released concerning an additional species of river dolphin (in Chinese 江豚 jiāngtún) that is in danger of becoming extinct.

From NetEase:

12 River Dolphins Found Dead Over 40 Days in Hunan’s Dongting Lake

From March 3rd until April 15th, 12 river dolphins were discovered dead one after another in Dongting Lake in Hunan Province’s Yueyang City. In the entire Yangtze River basin, only around 1,200 of this species remain, to the point that its numbers are even less than China’s “National Treasure”, the giant panda. Apart from Dongting Lake, Poyang Lake has also recently found river dolphins dead, with autopsies revealing that most of these river dolphins shared a common characteristic: There was no food to be found in their digestive systems.

Endangered Yangtze river dolphins found dead in Hunan.

Every April/May is this “National Treasure” river dolphin’s most active and most vigorous season. However, this year from March 3rd to April 15th over 12 dolphins have been found dead. It is reported that the river dolphin has been included in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) as a second level protected animal, and has been called the Yangtze River’s “living fossil” and “water giant panda”.

Endangered Yangtze river dolphins found dead in Hunan.

Experts say, this many protected species dying in such a short amount of time is unprecedented in the ecological history of the Yangtze River. The present high rate of death signifies that the river dolphin might be the Yangtze River Basin’s primary population faced with extinction.

Endangered Yangtze river dolphins found dead in Hunan.

As autopsies have uncovered, these dead river dolphins had one problem in common: there was no food remaining in their digestive tract. Although the precise cause of death remains uncertain, expert analysis has uncovered three possible causes of death: infectious disease, poisoning, or starvation.

Endangered Yangtze river dolphins found dead in Hunan.

April 14th, Hunan province Yueyang city river dolphin protection volunteers bring a dead river dolphin onto shore from the area of the Dongting Lake south of the Dongting Lake Bridge.

Comments from NetEase:

芙小小 [网易吉林省四平市网友]:

Dongting lake has died of old age. Over ten thousand years of “the land of fish and rice” seems to be ancient history now.

hj660925 [网易新疆乌鲁木齐市网友]:

It’s the Three Gorges, the Three Gorges, the monumentally shameful achievement of ignorant interest groups!!!

网易广东省网友 [本地小白] (responding to above):

Until the countless “foreign” vampires have sucked out the last drop of blood!

头上三尺有神马 [网易山东省临沂市网友] (responding to above):

Village level cadres [government officials] drink yellow alcohol [mulled wine], speak yellow words [obscenities], watch yellow discs [pornography]; County level cadres drink white alcohol [baijiu], touch white legs [prostitution], write white slips [IOU’s]; City level cadres drink red alcohol [wine], kiss red lips [mistresses], receive red envelopes [hongbao]; Provincial level cadres drink foreign alcohol, drive foreign cars, keep foreign girls; The cadres above them they drink famous wine, speak famous words [sayings], fuck famous celebrities; The ordinary commoners drink pi jiu [beer], listen to pi hua [farts, bullshit, nonsense], are pi min [lowly rabble].

芙小小 [网易吉林省四平市网友]:

The 12 river dolphins sympathized with Professor Huang Wanli‘s loneliness, so went to visit him, don’t feel sad.

乐山王志华 [网易四川省乐山市网友]:

On this piece of land [China], both people and animals, have sad fates…

愤怒小牛 [网易广东省手机网友]:

When will the age of rampant unbridled government officials die out?

金明焱 [网易辽宁省沈阳市网友]:

Today it’s the river dolphin, what will it be tomorrow?

跟帖局小刘 [网易湖南省岳阳市网友]:

Welcome all netizens to visit beautiful Yueyang!!! I’ll treat you to Chinese sturgeon~~~


Undoubtedly poisoned, caused by the emissions and discharge of today’s unscrupulous corporations!


[Dolphins], you go [die] first! We’ll be right behind you!

侃侃老衲 [网易美国网友] (responding to above):

In your next life, hope to be reincarnated in the Mississippi River.

Written by Joel

Joel is a reclusive writer based in Shanghai who took up blogging as a hobby one summer and never looked back. Former editor of Shanghaiist.


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