SACHEON, April 12 (Korea Bizwire) — Passengers on a new cable car’s trial run at the southern tip of Korea found themselves twice lucky as they were treated to a rare sighting of an endangered porpoise species native to regional waters.
The sighting occurred at Sacheon, a coastal city in South Gyeongsang Province. What made the appearance of the porpoise – called the finless porpoise – exceptional was its color; in photos snapped by the cable car riders, the cetacean animals appear reddish pink.
Locals who witnessed the porpoises said, “The finless porpoises are moving around in groups ranging from a couple to as many as 10 and are feeding.”
The unusual coloring of the porpoises has Sacheon residents hoping their appearance portends good fortune.
As its name declares, the finless porpoise differs from its fellow cetaceans in that it has no fin. Also called “the smiling dolphin” for its facial resemblance to a smiling person, finless porpoises are hard to sight as they do not form large pods and typically shy away from people.
Whereas the discovery of a pink porpoise would certainly be unusual, experts say its color may be something of an optical illusion.
Son Ho-seon at South Korea’s Whale Research Center said, “There are times when the nearly white finless porpoise appears pink when in the water. To find out whether it actually is pink, the animal would have to be removed from the water, examined and observed.”
When the news broke that finless porpoises were in its waters, the city of Sacheon took immediate precautionary measures to ensure the protection of the animals. Extra care was taken so that the porpoises would not wind up getting inadvertently caught in fishing nets.
Kevin Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)