Flip side of the dolphin doctor

PUBLISHED : Friday, 12 July, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 12 July, 2002, 12:00am

Reading about the plight of the Yangtze River dolphins yesterday, SAR could only marvel at the hardy endurance of another species: Collection Tin Rattler.


Could Wang Ding, the deputy director of Wuhan's Institute of Hydrobiology, who is asking for $50 million to capture the 'last 100' Yangtze River dolphins and transfer them to a sanctuary, be the same Wang Ding who eight years ago tried to raise $3 million to capture the 'last 100' dolphins and transfer them to a sanctuary?


Back in 1994, we traipsed up to Wuhan to hear Wang say: 'The dolphins will not survive if they stay in the river. They are dying fast and will not breed.' Which is what he said this week as well. Is it not odd that there are still 100 dolphins left?


Another old face from 1994 was Qi Qi, the river dolphin/marketing tool that has been swimming alone in the institute's tiny observation tank for the past 20 years.


The only thing that seems to have changed is Wang's estimate of the project's cost, which has spiralled more than 1,000 per cent.