The carcass of a young finless porpoise has been washed ashore on the Tung Wan Beach in Cheung Chau. The animal was surrounded by garbage floating in nearby shallow waters, according to pictures provided to HKFP by a reader. It was discovered on Monday afternoon and taken away by police.

Photo: Preston Hartwick.

The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department told HKFP the carcass belonged to a female finless porpoise calf. It was dark grey and 74 centimetres long.

“Tissue samples have been collected for further investigation and the cause of death of the stranded animal cannot be ascertained at this stage,” a spokesman for the department said.

Photo: Preston Hartwick.

Professor David Dudgeon, Chair of Ecology and Biodiversity at the University of Hong Kong’s School of Biological Sciences, told HKFP the animal could be an Indo-Pacific Finless Porpoise, which is native to the Indian Ocean and parts of the Pacific.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the population of this porpoise is likely to be decreasing and its conservation status is “vulnerable”, which is one level down from “endangered.”

Photo: Preston Hartwick.

Professor Dudgeon said the animal could have collided with a vessel, which “would not necessarily leave external wounds.”

Vivienne Zeng

Vivienne Zeng is a journalist from China with three years' experience covering Hong Kong and mainland affairs. She has an MA in journalism from the University of Hong Kong. Her work has been featured on outlets such as Al Jazeera+ and MSNBC.