THE death of a rare dolphin kept captive in China has forced Hong Kong's Ocean Park Conservation Foundation to review its support of the mainland institute which caught the animal. The baiji - or Yangtze River dolphin - is the world's most endangered dolphin. Experts believe it numbers less than 100, which are struggling to survive in the polluted Yangtze River. Last December the Wuhan Institute of Hydrobiology caught the female baiji - after nine months on the river - making it the second only in captivity in the world. Ocean Park helped to fund the capture operations and lent expertise to the institute in an 11th hour bid to save the baiji. Last month the baiji, kept captive in the 40-square kilometre oxbow reserve at Shishou, was found dead entangled in nets marking the boundary. Ocean Park co-acting director Josephine Woo Sau-yin said the baiji project was under review pending a report from cetacean consultant Henry Genthe and re-assessment of the foundation's other activities. She said: 'We are concerned and obviously disappointed by the fact that it died. We are still quite committed in our efforts to try to support activities that have been identified by our Chinese counterparts.' Director of the Institute's Department of River Dolphin Research, Professor Wang Ding, said despite the 'very bad news' of the baiji's death, the capture operations would continue. 'The plan is very clear, to capture as many as possible in an effort to save the species,' he said. 'We don't know if this will save the species, but if we do not do anything this species will be gone definitely - there is no hope that the baiji can live in the river safely until it recovers. The best and last hope is to take them out of the river and into the semi-natural reserve.' But he admitted funding would be a big problem. Each capture operation - which take place twice a year lasting several months - involves 15 boats and 40 people at a cost of US$20,000 (HK$154,600). While the Chinese Government contributed some money, funding from overseas organisations was vital in order to carry out an operation in October, he said. Professor Wang said it was impossible to determine the cause of death after the baiji was found entangled in nets - but she appeared thinner than when captured.