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China: Around The Nation

Shanghai fishermen find headless, finless whale carcass

Marks on the marine mammal’s body suggest its fins were sawed off

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 21 March, 2017, 4:11pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 21 March, 2017, 4:11pm

The carcass of a 20-tonne whale has been found in a harbour in Shanghai just a week after a pregnant sperm whale died off China’s southern coast.

The dead whale was discovered on Monday afternoon when Shanghai fishermen were fishing near where the mouth of the Yangtze river joins Hangzhou Bay, according to ThePaper.cn.

The cause of death is yet to be determined but the head of the marine mammal and its fins were missing. The body was also partially rotted.

The report quoted a witness as saying that marks on the whale suggest its fins had been sawed off.

After the police hauled the carcass of the whale ashore, what was left of its body appeared to stretch over 20 meters in length.

Last Wednesday, a pregnant sperm whale died after becoming stranded at Daya Bay in Shenzhen, Guangdong province. The 14.18-tonne whale failed to survive even after marine experts attempted to guide it back to the ocean. A dead whale fetus, which weighed 110.5 kilograms, was found in the mother whale.

Dead sperm whale off China’s coast found to be carrying fetus, in what scientists claim is a world first

Records show this is the third, and largest, whale found in the Luchao Port area. In the 1970s, a whale died in the area after becoming stranded. In 2002, another whale also became stranded but managed to return to the ocean with the help of marine experts.

Pictures of the dead whale are widely circulating on social media, with many web users decrying what could be a death caused by people.

One Weibo user wrote, “Whoever did this has to be maimed to understand how cruel it is for innocent animals to suffer from such brutality. I hope whales elsewhere can live their lives and be spared from such hurt and pain.”