Dolphin’s Tail Hacked Off
East Coast National Scenic Area Administration officers found a dead dolphin on Sanxiantai Reef. The carcass, which had not yet decomposed was missing a tail, and the tail appears to have been cut off with a sharp knife.
It is suspected that fishermen cut off the tail after the dolphin became entangled in a fishing net.
The carcass has been sent to Taiwan Cetacean Society for further research and confirmation about the cause of death.
Source: Taiwan People News.
Two Dead Whales in 2 Days
In related news, two dead whales have turned up on other parts of Taiwan’s coast.
In Kenting, a whale was seen and photographed floating about 200 meters offshore. Coast Guard officers received a report about the whale at around 10:00am this morning, May 22.
Marine biologist Professor Wang Jianping (王建平), of National Cheng Kung University Cetacean Research Center identified the whale, which was 4-5 meters long, as a juvenile humpback. Wang said that from its state of decomposition, it had obviously been dead for a long time, and it was not possible to determine the cause of death from the photographs.
Professor Wang, who made the identification from the photographs, said he hoped the carcass could be recovered, because humpback sightings were rare in Taiwan, and it would be valuable for academic research. However, shortly after being sighted, the carcass drifted away, and disappeared.
On the west coast, in the Beimen District of Tainan County, a dead whale washed ashore yesterday, May 21.
Coast guard officers received a report of a stranded whale at 4:50am. When they found the animal it was already dead. Unable to transport it immediately, they dragged it ashore to prevent it drifting away. The coast guard officers then notified the Tainan City Agriculture Bureau, and National Cheng Kong University Cetacean Research Center.
Professor Wang visited the site and identified the animal as a false killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens). Wang said a pod of 7 false killer whales had been sighted off the coast of Tainan County just last month.
Wang took the whale back to the Cetacean Research Center for dissection, and will attempt to determine the cause of death.
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