Pink Dolphins in Danger of Extinction, Group Warns

May 7, 2013 Updated: July 18, 2015

Pink dolphins in danger? Hong Kong’s famous pink dolphins, also known as Chinese white dolphins, are in danger of going extinct unless efforts are taken to curb water pollution levels, a group warned.

The Hong Kong Dolphin Conservation Society said that there were only 78 specimens in 2011, falling from 158 in 2003, reported the AFP news agency.

”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,” the group’s chairman, Samuel Hung, told the news agency.

The group said that when figures are released next month, it will likely show a greater decline.

The report comes as a tour guide in Hong Kong spotted several pink dolphins helping a mother whose calf was killed. The incident was captured on video.

“I started to film and it was then that I noticed the dead baby calf. From its size and color, I guessed it was a newborn. It was so depressing and so very sad,” the tour guide told the South China Morning Post. “There was a group of four or five dolphins taking turns with the mother to try to keep the baby on the surface of the water. We watched it for about 30 minutes.”

Dolphinwatch spokeswoman Janet Walker told the Post that “toxins from pollutants accumulate in body fat because the dolphins can’t metabolize it and I am told dolphin milk is 40 per cent fat.”

“The milk is very rich and fatty so it doesn’t disperse in the water when the mother squirts it out,” she added