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Hope revisited: the movement to keep Hong Kong’s Chinese white dolphins safe

By: Brooke Chenoweth

Hope observed at Ocean Park, photo credit Gary Stokes
Hope observed at Ocean Park, photo credit Gary Stokes

Last week we brought you the story of Hope, a courageous little dolphin who was found seriously injured off the west coast of Lantau last month. After days of failed rescue attempts Hope was finally captured and taken to Ocean Park for treatment. Despite responding well initially, Hope succumbed to his injuries and sadly, the decision was made to humanely euthanize.

Director of Sea Shepherd Hong Kong, Gary Stokes observed Hope closely over the weeks that he was known to the authorities and fought to have him rescued and treated. He says, “Hope’s chances of survival were slim at the very best of times. Left alone he would have succumbed to his injuries. Unable to hunt for himself he had been kept alive on hand-outs from the Tai O fishermen. They should be thanked for sharing their daily catch and livelihood to keep him alive for so long, whilst the powers that be hesitated to offer him medical assistance. The stress of capture, medications, new alien environment and his horrific injuries and infection all added to the chances he would not make it and sadly this proved to be the case. We fully support the decision to do what was humanely right for Hope and end his suffering, a man-made suffering that needs to be addressed in the coming months. What we can all do is learn from this and move forward so that we are better prepared next time.”

 

Now the challenge is to bring attention to the dolphin's plight, Photo credit: Gary Stokes
Now the challenge is to bring attention to the dolphin’s plight, Photo credit: Gary Stokes

Gary thanked those involved in Hope’s rescue and care as well as the general public who were captivated by this rare creature’s story and offered their support.

According to The Standard, The World Wildlife Fund reports on its website that Hong Kong waters are currently home to a stable population of 62 Chinese white dolphins, but threats against the endangered species continue to be ‘serious and mounting.’ Sea Shepherd plans to now address the plight of the Chinese White Dolphins within Hong Kong waters and build on the work they have already been doing for this iconic species.

 

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