A dead dolphin and her newborn calf were found washed ashore yesterday morning, the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau (IACM) said .
According to a statement, preliminary autopsy results show that the calf was born prematurely as the mother had miscarried, resulting in the deaths of both marine mammals.
Residents found the carcass of the adult Chinese white dolphin washed up the rocky shore off Avenida da Ponte da Amizade Tuesday while the dead baby dolphin was seen floating in the water nearby.
Officials of the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau (IACM) and Maritime Administration (CP) rushed to the scene after the two dolphins had been spotted by the residents.
IACM Division for the Protection of Natural Areas Cheong Kuai Tat told The Macau Post Daily it was “highly likely” that the two dolphins were mother and daughter.
“We’ll be doing parental testing with DNA samples from their muscles,” Cheong said, adding the government planned to use the bodies as specimens for education purposes.
A statement from the IACM later said that the preliminary autopsy carried out by the Zhujiang Chinese White Dolphin National Nature Reserve showed that the two dolphins, both female, died due to a “miscarriage”.
According to the statement, the adult dolphin, measuring 2.57 metres and weighing 150 kilogrammes, should be over 10 years old, based on evaluations of her bones and skin while the calf, measuring 75 centimetres and weighing just five kilogrammes, had been prematurely born.
According to Cheong, there are about 40 Chinese white dolphins living near Macau, and last year, a dead one was found at Coloane’s Cheoc Van beach.
The Chinese white dolphin is a humpback dolphin species, one of 80 cetacean species, according to Wikipedia. Their international conservation status is “near threatened.”(macaunews)