Rare pink dolphins in Hong Kong are in danger due to pollution and other threats, conservatives warned Monday. The Chinese white dolphins, often referred to as pink dolphins, have been declining in number in recent years, according to the Hong Kong Dolphin Society.
The number plummeted from 158 in 2003 to just 78 in 2011, and the number is expected to be even lower for 2012. Society chairman Samuel Hung says: "It is up to the government and every Hong Kong citizen to stand up for dolphins. We risk losing them unless we all take action."
A group of pink dolphins was spotted helping its mother support her dead calf's body by a tour guide two weeks ago. A video of the scene shows the grieving mother attempting to revive the calf.
"We're 99 per cent certain the calf died from toxins in the mother's milk, accumulated from polluted seawater," said Hong Kong Dolphinwatch spokeswoman Janet Walker. Most of the rare pink dolphins are found in Chinese waters and less than 2,500 live in the Pearl River Delta, which is between Macau and Hong Kong.
The number of the rare pink dolphins are believed to have dropped significantly due to overfishing, marine traffic increase, and water pollution in the area.
The Chinese white dolphins may appear as an albino dolphin to some. The pink color comes from blood vessels which were overdeveloped for thermoregulation.