A young dolphin has been frolicking in the waters of the Gold Coast Yacht Club in Tuen Mun since Tuesday, raising fears that it could be injured if struck by passing vessels.
This is the first time a live pantropical spotted dolphin has appeared in Hong Kong waters, Apple Daily reported on Thursday.
Residents said the dolphin could have lost contact with companions and got trapped in the yacht club.
But the marine mammal appeared to be enjoying its stay, remaining active and lively.
It would even show its fin and the fish it caught in its mouth to people who were watching, the newspaper said.
Experts from the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department and the Ocean Park have been observing the dolphin from a distance so as not to scare it.
Hung Ka-yiu, president of the Hong Kong Dolphin Conservation Society, said he noticed the dolphin was swimming freely and hunting for food.
It also swam near the exit of the yacht club more than once but appeared to have no intention of leaving the area.
Hung said he thinks the little dolphin does not feel trapped and is enjoying its new environment.
However, the dolphin gets nervous every time a boat passes by.
Hung worries that it may be hit by a yacht, which is why he hopes it will go back to the ocean as soon as possible.
He said he could recall at least two instances when a pantropical spotted dolphin was beached and died in Hong Kong, but this is the first to be spotted in the territory that is very much alive.
Hung warned against crowds swarming the Gold Coast or feeding the dolphin as such acts might scare it.
The pantropical spotted dolphin is found in temperate and tropical oceans. The species is often seen in Taiwan, but not common in Hong Kong waters.
It has a long, thin beak and concave fin. A newborn dolphin measures about 80 to 90 centimeters in length.
Adults are about 2.5 meters long and weigh 120 kilograms on average.
They feed primarily on crustaceans and fish.
– Contact us at [email protected]