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WWF says Chinese porpoises close to extinction

Published on Mar 28, 2013 10:24 PM
 
China's wild finless porpoises are heading toward extinction, a conservation group said on Thursday, March 28, 2013, with the dolphin-like animals now rarer than the giant panda. -- PHOTO: MICHEL GUNTHER/WWF WEBSITE

BEIJING (AFP) - China's wild finless porpoises are heading toward extinction, a conservation group said on Thursday, with the dolphin-like animals now rarer than the giant panda.

With a stubby nose and grey body, the porpoises inhabit the Yangtze River and are famed for their cuteness in China, where they are known as "river pigs".

But their numbers in the Yangtze, which is the country's longest river, have more than halved in six years, according to an extensive survey.

Scientists spent over a month last year scanning more than 3,400km of the river in a hunt for the porpoises, but only saw 380, the conservation group WWF said in a statement.

 
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