A two-metre long dolphin died yesterday after becoming stranded on the beach at Tung Wan, part of the popular Tai Long Wan area in Sai Kung.
Three hikers found the mammal in trouble at about 5pm on Saturday and helped to keep it alive, according to an Ocean Park spokesman.
Staff at the Ocean Park Conservation Foundation and the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department came to assist in the rescue about four and a half hours later. "The dolphin was found injured with visible external wounds," an Ocean Park spokesman said.
A picture taken during the effort showed rescuers attempting to move the injured dolphin using a large piece of material.
The 68kg dolphin was taken to Ocean Park for treatment but eventually died from its injuries yesterday afternoon.
"Given the dolphin was extremely weak and had multiple external wounds. It was already a miracle that we were able to bring it back to Ocean Park for treatment after it was found beached in Sai Kung," said Suzanne Gendron, director of the Ocean Park Conservation Foundation.
Although the dolphin eventually died, Gendron said the hikers did a "great job in moving the dolphin back into the water, keeping its skin moist and its blow hole above water so it could breathe".
Since 2006, there have been more than 229 cases of cetaceans becoming stranded in Hong Kong waters.
In March, 2014, the carcass of a 10.8-metre whale was found off Hung Shek Mun, in Plover Cove Country Park, and in 2009, a 10-metre-long humpback whale was spotted in Hong Kong waters, believed to be the first sighting of the species in the city.
In 2003, a sperm whale was found washed up at Tai Long Wan, Sai Kung, and in 1994, the carcass of a Bryde's whale was found in Tolo Harbour.