False killer whales visit Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour

You don’t see this very often, but on 17 January 2020 there were an estimated 100 dolphins in Hong Kong harbour (false killer whales are a species of dolphin).

Conservationists have alerted vessel operators in Victoria Harbour to exercise caution. Viena Mak Hei-man, spokesperson for the Hong Kong Dolphin Conservation Society, added that the species usually inhabit deepwater areas in temperate and tropical zones, and are rarely seen in Hong Kong. A pod of about the same number was last seen in the city in February 2014 in waters around Kwai Chung and northern Lantau Island.

“It’s inexplicable, why they appeared in the harbour, but they looked healthy … They might have lost their way somehow or (ended up in Hong Kong) due to unknown factors,” Mak said. Based on the activity and movement of the dolphins, it was estimated that the pod would have left the harbour the same day, or perhaps a day later,

Despite their name, the creatures bear little resemblance to the orca, except in the shape of their head and teeth. A mature false killer whale can be up to six metres long. Pods usually number between 30 and 50 members.

Photo courtesy: Guy Nowell Photography

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