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Experts Treating Wounded Chinese Paddlefish
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Experts are treating a wounded Chinese paddlefish after it was caught accidentally by fishermen at the mouth of the Yangtze River 

"The 3.35-meter, 220-kilogram fish was caught by fishermen south of Hengsha Island," said Liu Wei, an official with the Shanghai Chinese Paddlefish Nature Reserve Administration.


The administration received a report on Thursday from a fishing station at the river mouth that a Chinese paddlefish, an extremely rare species, was seriously wounded.


Experts from the administration rushed to the site and carried out emergency treatment on the fish, which had 27 ventral wounds and was bleeding from other parts of the body.


"The paddlefish was transported to a residence base for the Chinese Paddlefish in Jiading District of Shanghai," said Liu.


"The fish is recovering but is still quite weak," said Liu.


Experts believe the paddlefish is a 23-year-old female after initial examinations.


"The Yangtze River mouth area has not seen such a large Chinese paddlefish in nearly 20 years," said Liu.


The endangered Chinese paddlefish has been dubbed "the giant panda of the river" as it lives only in China.


The rare fish is on the verge of extinction and has been put on China's top protection list.


Earlier this month, a 3.6-meter, 250 kilogram Chinese paddlefish died from injuries inflicted by two illegal fishing boats at the Yangtze River stretch in central China's Hubei Province.


(Xinhua News Agency January 21, 2007)


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