A five-meter whale shark was found dead Sunday wedged between rocks off Cheung Chau Island with a rope tied to its tail.
The animal could have been dead for days judging by its advanced state of decomposition, according to witnesses cited by Apple Daily.
An Ocean Park emergency response team said it was a type of whale shark known as rhincodon typus, the largest known living fish species.
A local resident spotted the fish floating belly up in waters just off the outlying island.
An autopsy is pending after the team encountered rough seas trying to bring the carcass to shore.
The last time a whale shark was seen in Hong Kong waters was on July 20 when a fisherman spotted a 16-footer near Tung Lung Island.
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