China: Authorities launch investigations followed by reports of butchering a baby white dolphin in Zhuhai
Representational image of a dolphin Reuters

The Chinese authorities have launched an investigation after several netizens reported about the butchering of a baby Chinese white dolphin in Zhuhai, the Guangdong Ocean and Fishery Administration said.

According to reports, the incident reportedly happened at around 6.30 pm on Thursday, near Nanshui in Zhuhai's Jinwan District, China. The preliminary investigation reports by the local fishing bureau showed that a fisherman surnamed Zhong found a big fish floating in the sea near Gaolan Port.

The fish was apparently dead when he saw it and thus he dragged it to the wharf and let three other men butcher it. The administration said that the three other men are cooperating with the police investigations.

Several images of the incident were circulated on Chinese social media. It showed a gray-coloured dolphin cut into pieces, with its head and body parts preserved in boxes filled with ice.

The administration also added that the law enforcement officers received a tip-off and they immediately headed to the spot. The officials recovered and sealed the remains of the aquatic animal, which will be checked and verified by technical authorities.

The Chinese white dolphin, also known as "mermaid" and "giant panda of the sea", is mainly found in the western Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean. In China, it often appears in the East China Sea, and is guarded under first-class state protection.