Reported Sighting of Extinct River Dolphin is Unlikely
Amateur conservationists say they may have seen a Yangtze river dolphin in China. Here's why you should be skeptical.
Ten years after it was declared functionally extinct, amateur conservationists believe they have spotted a Yangtze river dolphin, or baiji, in a stretch of the Yangtze in eastern China.
In recent interviews with the Guardian and the Chinese government-sponsored publication Sixth Tone, amateur investigator Song Qi claimed to have spotted the baiji on October 4, during a seven-day expedition in pursuit of the animal.
“No other creature could jump out of the Yangtze like that,” Song said to Sixth Tone. “All the eyewitnesses—which include fishermen—felt certain that it was a baiji dolphin.”
If the unconfirmed sighting is authentic, it would come as a shock to biologists: The small and nearly blind white dolphin, nicknamed the "goddess of the Yangtze,” in