Some amateur conservationists claim they spotted the supposedly Baiji Chinese extinct dolphin in the proximity of Wuhu city in Anhui province during a week expedition aiming to find the mammal.
According to Song Qi, team leader of the expedition, he and other fishers witnessed the dolphin jumping out of the water. Song stressed that although he is not a dolphin expert, he and the fishers were quite sure the vigorous animal was indeed the Baiji dolphin.
However, neither he nor his team members were able to take a clear picture of the mysterious mammal, so there is no solid proof of its actual existence. This species was a small, white, and almost blind dolphin that was declared extinct in 2006 after a team of experts conducted an extensive search for six weeks during which they were unable to spot the dolphin.
The primary cause why the endemic mammal became extinct was because of a wide variety of influencing factors such as human excess, ship collisions, pollution, and overfishing just to name a few.
According to Samuel Turvey, one of the conservation biologists who participated in the 2006 six-week search, conclusive proof is needed in order to take into consideration the fact that the extinct Chinese dolphin might still live somewhere in the Yangtze River.
He stresses that he the entire wildlife conservation community would be more than glad to hear that such an enigmatic animal is not extinct. Back in 2007, another similar event turned out to be a false alarm after some people had claimed they witnessed the Baiji which was, in fact, a finless porpoise, another highly endangered species of marine mammal.
Turvey further adds that everyone should turn their attention towards the finless porpoise until it’s too late. All factors involving human excess have led to environmental degradation, making it impossible for these species to adapt in these waters.
According to the statistics from the World Wildlife Fund, the finless porpoise loses 13 percent of its general population every year which means that ten years from now, this species will become extinct.
There are currently around one thousand finless porpoise specimens left in the wild, but the situation looks even worse for the freshwater dolphin as there are only six of them left across the world.
Image Source: Facts About