Recently, the Chinese “goddess of the Yangtze,” the Yangtze or baiji dolphin, was believed to be extinct. But on Aug. 19, a resident of the Anhui province, Zeng Yujiang, spotted one of the rare beasts frolicking in the river of Tongling and recorded video of it on his digital camera. Yujiang told Xinhua news:
“I’ve never seen such a big thing in the water before, so I filmed it. It was about 1,000 meters away and jumped out of water several times.”
A team of 25 international scientists embarked on a 38-day search last year to find the elusive baiji, but were unable to find any. Earlier this month, the animal was declared extinct, but thanks to this footage, another expedition will be conducted in September. However, even though this sheds a glimmer of hope for the seemingly doomed river critter, the scientists who led the last expedition still consider the dolphin “functionally extinct.” Ouch. Godspeed, noble baiji.