A whale that washed onshore in China's southernmost province of Hainan could survive heavy head trauma after three days of treatment by wildlife specialists, marine authorities said.
There is a scar on the head of the whale which was found near a fishing spot by a fisherman on Saturday in Lingshui Li Autonomous County, Hainan Province.
The injured mammal was found near a fishing spot by a fisherman on Saturday in Lingshui Li Autonomous County.
"The young whale was struggling on the shoal. There was a fist-size blunt-force trauma to its head," said Gui Liang, the fisherman who reported the incident to the local marine authority.
The whale was in rehabilitation on Tuesday in a man-made pool at Fenjiezhou Island, 30 km from where it was stranded.
Liang Shan, the head of the Hainan Provincial Aquatic Wildlife Conservation Center, said that wildlife experts had carried out a 10-hour operation on the short-finned pilot whale, which is a species under China's second-class protection.
"The young whale is about four meters long and weighs 600 kilograms. It may have a 70 percent of chance of survival," he said.
He speculated that the head trauma could have been caused by the whale having been struck by a ship screw or a collision with a vessel.
The wound had been seriously infected, which destroyed the animal's balance and navigation skill, he said.
Nursing staff worked three shifts a day to keep the whale balanced in the pool, since if it overturned, it would choke its massively infected lung.
Rescuers "massage" the injured whale which was found near a fishing spot by a fisherman on Saturday in Lingshui Li Autonomous County, Hainan Province.
(Xinhua News Agency August 6, 2008)