April 19th, 2017 (Connor Frankhouser). Yet another whale has perished in south China, this time in Hainan’s Wenchong City, a settlement of just over 100,000 people situated 60 kilometers southeast of provincial capital Haikou.
The whale’s decaying corpse exuded a powerful smell that attracted a large number of onlookers, according to Tencent News.
Its been a hard knock life as of late for cetaceans off of China’s coast. Not only are they being imported in droves, especially to Guangdong, to satisfy China’s nascent water theme park industry, but they are also seemingly perishing en masse in China’s coastal waters. A 20-ton whale was recently found dead off of the coast of Shanghai, a pregnant sperm whale died in Guangdong just days before it may have given birth and, perhaps most gristly, a decapitated dolphin was being sold at a wet market near Zhuhai. All of these deaths have occurred since 2017, clearly not the year of the whale in China, began.
Experts from the Wenchang City Marine Fishery Bureau have not yet determined why the whale died. It is believed the whale may have been stranded in the shallows near Wenchong City for up to two days before finally dying.
The Tencent News report reveals that since whales are “national second class protected animals,” further research will be conducted on the animal by a team from Sanya. The whale will then be buried or burned based on the final recommendation of the team.
Netizens have blamed the death of the whale on everything from polluted waters, bad luck and Japanese nuclear radiation.