Looks like nature really is healing, folks. With so much negative news on a daily basis, the news that rare pink dolphins have returned to Hong Kong waters since the Coronavirus crisis is good news indeed. The rare Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins are native to the Pearl River estuary, but usually avoid the waters linking Hong Kong and Macau due to high-speed ferry boats.
However since the ferries were halted over COVID concerns, the dolphins returned to the waters within weeks. Now, dolphin numbers in the area are up by 30% since March.
The Return of Rare Dolphins to Hong Kong Waters:
Speaking to The Guardian, Dr. Lindsay Porter, a senior research scientist with the University of St. Andrews, says that the increase in dolphins is astounding. “It was the last week in February, literally the week after the ferries stopped travelling between Hong Kong and Macau. I’ve been studying these dolphins since 1993 and I’ve never seen anything like this dramatic change before, and the only thing that changed is 200 ferries stopped travelling before.”
Dr. Porter notes that the dolphins seem to be more relaxed now that there is less water traffic
“From visual observations the dolphins are spending much more time socialising, splashing around on the surface, quite a bit of foreplay, quite a bit of sex,” she said.
“Hong Kong dolphins normally live on the edges, they’re stressed, they spend their time eating and resting. So to see them playing … to see them having a good time, that was really great to see.”
The hope is for fewer ferries to run between across the estuary post-pandemic. Passengers may instead make use of a bridge that links Hong Kong and Macau.