A 2-METER long dolphin was spotted lingering in the sea off Daya Bay, a border area of Shenzhen and Huizhou, on Saturday by a local resident surnamed Su. Injuries were found on the dolphin’s back and the bottom of its body.
Su recalled that he had seen the animal swimming slowly on the surface of the sea in the morning, unlike normal dolphins that often jump out of the water during swimming. Su later approached and found that the dolphin was gray with clear patterns on its body and appeared to be injured.
Later, researchers from the marine college of Sun Yat-Sen University confirmed that it was a Risso’s dolphin. This species is usually found in the sea near Zhejiang Province and Taiwan. It is rare to find a Risso’s dolphin near Daya Bay, according to the researchers.
To make sure the dolphin was not entangled in fishing nets, Su jumped into the water, but did not find a net. He then thought of an expert, Sun Shuyan, who had actively engaged in the rescue of sperm whales that were found dying in the sea area between Shenzhen and Huizhou in March.
Sun turned out to be overseas when Su contacted her for help, but the expert asked a diving coach from her diving center to stand by for a rescue action if needed.
Sun also reported the situation to relevant government departments in Huizhou and the authority sent out a fishery team to protect and save the injured dolphin. Researchers later arrived at the scene as well.
On Saturday afternoon, two divers attempted to lead the dolphin into deeper waters, but it wouldn’t leave the shallow water. As the sky got darker, the fishery team had to stay near the dolphin to protect it.
The rescuers later used a stretcher to transfer the dolphin to a rescue pool for turtles and conducted further treatment at around 7 p.m.
Experts from the Chinese Academy of Sciences arrived at Daya Bay from Sanya, Hainan Province, the next day and started rescue work there.
Risso’s dolphins, also known as gray dolphins, are widely seen in groups along coastal areas of Zhejiang and Taiwan. The dolphin found in Huizhou is an adult dolphin, as it measures 2.5 meters long. (Zhang Qian)