Conservationists ask Hong Kong public to stay away from 'lost' young dolphin after it is spotted in city’s waters

South China Morning Post

The pantropical spotted dolphin was first seen earlier this week off coast of Ap Lei Chau and Ocean Park

South China Morning Post |
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The juvenile pantropical spotted dolphin is said to be in good health.

A young dolphin was spotted off the coast of Ap Lei Chau and Ocean Park earlier this week. It was seen again inside Aberdeen Typhoon Shelter on Thursday, and conservationists are urging the public to steer clear.

The creature was a juvenile pantropical spotted dolphin that had strayed into Hong Kong waters. They are not native to the region.

Ocean Park Conservation Foundation said the dolphin, which is not an endangered species and can normally be found in topical or subtropical waters, had probably just got lost.

The dolphin strayed into Aberdeen Typhoon Shelter on Thursday.
Photo: Ocean Park Conservation Foundation

The spokesman said it appeared to be healthy, but said the foundation would keep an eye on it, and urged the public to keep away.

Taison Chang Ka-tai, the chairman of the Dolphin Conservation Society, said the dolphin may have been led away from its normal habitat while chasing prey, but said if left alone, it was likely to find its own way home.

“We would advise the public not to disturb it at the moment, and the uninterrupted environment would help it find its way home,” Chang said.

According to the foundation, there have been several sightings of the species in local waters since 1996, and Chang said his team had received reports of the dolphins being spotted in eastern and northeastern waters over the past two years.

In January 2016, a pantropical spotted dolphin was also seen in the Gold Coast private marina in Tuen Mun, before disappearing four days later.

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