White Dolphins Appear in South China Sea

A group of white dolphins, sometimes called "the pandas of the ocean" for their rarity, have appeared recently in the South China Sea, according to the Senzhen Economic Daily.

Experts said that few white dolphin groups have been spotted in recent years.

A reporter and four oceanographers saw that two white dolphins eating shrimp at the tail of a fishing vessel at the Pearl River Estuary on Sunday afternoon.

But when the reporter was taking photos for them, the shy creatures soon hid underneath the sea, only exposing their fins tothe len.

One hour later, the reporter found dozens of white dolphins in the same area.

The most attractive scene is that in that group, a mother dolphin was bringing her baby freely swimming on the sea.

Huang Chuangliang, an official with the provincial Fishery Bureau, said that the white dolphin is a species unique to China and high on China's most-protected animal list. It is also the most endangered dolphin species in the world.

Records show that there are only about 1,000 white dolphins at the Pearl River Estuary and over 100 in the coastal areas of Xiamen, in east China's Fujian Province.

In 1999, south China's Guangdong Province set aside 460 sqare km of water areas in the South China Sea as a nature reserve for Chinese white dolphins.

(Xinhua News Agency November 28, 2001)

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