On the afternoon of March 15, an injured 12-meter-long sperm whale was pronounced dead and removed from the waters of Daya Bay, near Huizhou.
Site monitoring staff have placed the time of death around 2pm, when they noticed the whale put up a “fierce struggle” before going still.
According to reports, experts with the Chinese Academy of Sciences confirmed the whale was dead after an in-water check determined the animal’s head was fully submerged – indicating it was no longer breathing.
In the presence of curious onlookers, the deceased mammal was loaded on a flatbed truck and transported to Huizhou Marine and Fishery Science and Technology Research Center in Pingtan Town for research purposes.
Making a sad story even more depressing, rescue workers told China News Network that once removed from the water, the sperm whale’s mouth was discovered to be “full of garbage.”
The cetacean was found entangled in a fishing net by a group of fishermen on Sunday, leading to a rescue operation by the Dapeng Fishery Administrative Department along with local fishermen and divers.
Although rescuers were able to free the whale from the netting, a group of cetacean experts from Sun Yat-sen University and Guangdong Ocean University were unable to lure the mammal into deeper water using sonar equipment.
After three days of rescue attempts, authorities decided yesterday to let the animal die of its injuries.
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[Images via Tencent News]