A finless porpoise shot by Yang He at Yangtze River in Hubei Province, Feb. 19, 2021.
YICHANG, China, June 01, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Yang He, 65 years old from Yichang, Hubei Province, who has been photographing finless porpoises for 5 years has noticed a rise in population since the chemical plant has been replaced by a riverside park in Yichang, Hubei Province.
The keen photographer brought river traffic to a standstill in the Yichang section of China’s mother river when he rescued a porpoise caught up in rope and bottles on February 9, 2022, he dubbed the porpoise 209 after the date. The story of the porpoise and Yang He has now been immortalized in a video of sand paintings (see below).
The story became legend after Three Gorges Maritime Safety Administration issued an emergency order requesting the suspension of sailing of all cargo ships nearby immediately after being informed of the situation. The “pause button” was pressed on the golden waterway to save the trapped finless porpoise. The rescue team slowly approached the finless porpoise in a small boat, and it took repeated attempts for the members to work together to hold it.
Fortunately, they made it, and saved the finless porpoise. The finless porpoise is said to be the elf in the Yangtze River. From then on, 209 remembered his savior Yang He. Every time he took photos at the riverside, the porpoise would always appear. The obvious wound on its tail proved that it was the finless porpoise dubbed 209.
209 and her daughter played with each other, shot by Yang He at Yangtze River in Hubei Province, May 5, 2022
Two months later, Yang He spotted 209 jumping out of the water, and he managed to capture this in a photograph. He was pleasantly surprised to find that 209 was pregnant. Later, it gave birth to a baby, and both mother and baby would meet Yang. Yang He has shared many photos of the finless porpoises on WeChat Moments, including countless “registration photos” and “family portraits” of these animals who he says ‘are as adorable as his own children’.
The area is now seeing a surge in environmental efforts and also visitors to watch these animals. Today, pods of these captivating creatures can once again be observed leaping above the water’s surface, allowing enthusiastic shutterbugs and local residents to marvel at their beauty.
AP Multimedia Newsroom
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