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China releases its first-ever rescued short-finned pilot whale in Hainan

The mammal was released into the ocean 70 nautical miles from the city of Sanya

HAIKOU /China/, May 30. /TASS/. China's very first rescued short-finned pilot whale has been successfully released in the southern Chinese province of Hainan. The mammal was set free into the ocean 70 nautical miles from the city of Sanya, the Hainan International Communication Network (HICN) reported.

The male short-finned pilot whale was found washed ashore in Haitang Bay of Sanya city on January 3, 2024. Experts found numerous scars on him, and after examination, they found that his liver and kidney functions were impaired. Through the efforts of several agencies, the mammal was taken to the animal rescue center of the city's oceanarium, where it was given the name Haitang.

For the past four months, veterinarians and conservationists have been doing everything they could to save him. As early as January 9, he was able to swim on his own, and on January 18, all tests showed a significant improvement in his condition. He was then moved from the treatment pool to a large outdoor pool for rehabilitation and recovery.

On May 7, experts concluded that Haitang had fully recovered and was ready to return to his natural habitat. The pilot whale was successfully released on May 26.

Haitang’s rescue was a rewarding experience that tested mechanisms for protecting and rescuing endangered species, HICN wrote.