26 June 2010

[HK 21] : Sea pigs in the rain


The Chinese word for dolphin is literally translated as "sea pig" (海豚 "hoi tuen"), which I think is somewhat of a funny interpretation of the playful yet not exactly porky marine mammal.  The ones we saw today are particularly special, though, because they're Chinese white dolphins.  Actually, they're mostly pink, but some hover on the white end and baby dolphins are gray.

Pink in the wild?  I started to consider all the pink animals I know of and came up with typical ones like pigs and flamingos.  Some sites mention naked mole rats (yes, I actually looked this up), and another blogger lists more unusual ones, including today's friend.

The boat trip left from Tung Chung (confusingly pronounced "Dong Chong") on Lantau Island and was coordinated by my office as a free social event.  It was nice seeing coworkers relaxed in flip flops rather than parked in front of monitors all day, and so we set sail even despite pouring rain and choppy seas.

I sadly don't have any photos of the 2 dolphins we saw today: they only came up for air briefly and did a few more extended body slams, but each moment - accompanied by a delighted and very loud squeal from the women - was too brief and my camera hand too slow.  So pictured above is around Lung Kwu Chao, the island near which we had our first dolphin sighting.  They truly ARE extremely pink in color, which was a fun contrast to the somewhat gloomy everything else.  Here's someone else's photo, in hopes that I'll be able to replace it with my own if I go dolphin watching again:

via mapasia.com

Wild life in Hong Kong outside the concrete jungle - it exists!  *sigh of relief*

- - -
currently :
  • feeling : drenched
  • weather : soaking, but thankfully my umbrella has held up