China’s runaway pollution is close to forcing one of the most beautiful creatures into extinction. The Hong Kong Dolphin Society is reporting that the population of rare Chinese white dolphins (known as pink dolphins for their unique color) are almost wiped out. A tragic picture was captured recently of one of the few remaining mothers trying to support her dead calf in the waters outside of Hong Kong — the victim of extreme pollution in the Pearl River Delta.
The numbers of pink dolphin has plummeted. In 2003, there were only 158. By 2011, there were only 78. Now, they are nearly gone entirely. Toxins in the water have killed off the dolphins like the baby calf. While a tourist attraction, pink dolphins now expose tourists to the sad reality of a country which turns a blind eye to the worsening environmental conditions for animals and people alike.
The species may still be found outside of China, though it is listed as “near-threatened.” The dolphin has long been a symbol of Hong Kong, as it was during the handover from Britain. Now, children will have to look at pictures as the toxins in the waters continue to rise around Hong Kong.