Chinese river dolphin
Chinese river dolphin Wikimedia Commons

The baiji, a Chinese river dolphin declared functionally extinct last year, was reported to have been seen on August 19, according to the AP.

Scientists searched last December for the dolphin and found none. They declared the species functionally extinct, meaning there might be some alive but not enough to prevent extinction.

The problems that led to the declaration, pollution and river traffic, have not been dealt with. So even if the sighting is confirmed, the overall outlook is grim.The sighting simply offers hope the species is still alive--not that it has anything close to a good chance of surviving. For that, the dolphins habitat needed to have been cleaned up decades ago.

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