Endangered Vaquita Porpoise Found Dead in Mexico
Zee News
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April 28, 2017

Searching for the near extinct Vaquita (Souls of the Vermilion Sea - WIld Lens Inc)

An endangered vaquita porpoise was found dead in the Gulf of Mexico, the country`s environmental protection authority said Wednesday, bringing to four the number of dead vaquitas found in 2017.

There are only 30 remaining vaquitas (Phocoena sinus), scientists warned in February. The rare mammals, the world`s smallest porpoise, live exclusively in the Gulf of Mexico. Scientists warn that they face extinction by 2022.

The remains of the vaquita were found Tuesday, 24 kilometers (15 miles) north of the town of San Felipe, in the state of Baja California on the Barra del Primer Estero beach, the statement read.

The remains of the young vaquita, which measured 115 centimeters (45 inches) long, was in such an advanced state of decomposition that experts were unable to determine its sex.

However, they did see cuts and lacerations indicating that the animal had possibly been trapped in a net, "which we can suppose was the cause of its death."

Authorities say the vaquitas have been dying for years in gillnets that are meant to illegally catch another endangered species, a large fish called the totoaba.

Smugglers ship the dried swim bladder of the totoaba to China, where it fetches tens of thousands of dollars and is eaten in soup.

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