Lipotes vexillifer
Lipotes vexillifer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



It is reported that the world’s second tallest man, 7-foot-9 inches, has saved the life of a nearly extinct baiji dolphin in China by reaching deep into the stomach of a sick female baiji to extract several fragments of Styrofoam.


The sickened dolphin washed ashore near the Yangtse port city of Wuhan.


The first tallest man in the world, said to be Japanese and nearly 8-foot in height, reportedly refused to take part in the procedure.


The exceedingly rare white baiji dolphin, a freshwater sea mammal with a long, narrow, slightly upturned beak, has enraptured the Chinese people who have named her Chenguang, which translates to morning light.


Shy and almost blind, the baiji dates back 20 million years.

It is estimated that no more than half a dozen individuals remain alive in Chinese waters.


None has survived in captivity.


Once fully recovered, Chenguang will be released into the Yangtse River under close supervision with the hope that she finds a mate with which to reproduce and thus help prevent the species from becoming extinct.


At a hospital-aquarium in Wuhan, physicians failed to remove the Styrofoam in Chenguang’s stomach with surgical instruments because the embedded fragments could not be grasped with the certainty of not further harming the baiji, an unusually large specimen, nearly 8-and-a-half feet in length.

The arms of ordinary Chinese were simply too short to reach through the dolphin’s throat into her stomach


Bao Xishun, 52, a 7-foot-9-inch herdsman who is listed in the Guinness world records as the world’s second tallest human, was summoned from the nearby Chinese region of Inner Mongolia.


The official summons came after the 8-foot Japanese, unnamed but reportedly living in Hiroshima, refused the initial summons to try and save the sickened, nearly extinct dolphin.


No reason was offered for the Japanese giant’s refusal, although the Chinese and Japanese are long-term adversaries, and the speculation in China was that the Japanese government ordered the 8-foot Japanese to reject the summons.


The Japanese government has refused to comment publicly on the subject.


What would the Chinese have done were Bao Xishun made unavailable?


They would have summoned the now-retired world-famous basketball player Yao Ming from the Houston Rockets in the USA; Yao is listed at 7-foot-6 inches.


In a surgical procedure shown and re-shown on Chinese nationwide television to the largest number of TV viewers recorded anywhere, not just in China, six technicians carefully restrained the sedated dolphin while Bao Xishun  slid his latex-enclosed 44-inch long arm down her throat into her stomach to extract five irregular sized fragments of Styrofoam.


It was a delicate procedure for such a large man, especially since the dolphin was sedated rather than anesthetized. In the baiji’s weakened condition there was fear that anesthesia might kill her.


Wuhan aquarium authorities declared the procedure an unqualified

success. In gratitude, the Chinese government presented the 7-foot-9-inch Bao Xishun  with a “valuable gift,” which however was unspecified.


According to Chinese news agencies, Chenguang is recovering on schedule and swimming in the Wuhan aquarium. It was not yet determined when she would be released into the Yangtse River.


Were the surgical procedure a failure, relations between China and Japan, aggrieved as they are, would have rapidly worsened, possibly to the point of violent aggression.


Is it possible that the death of a severely endangered dolphin could devolve into an actual war between China and Japan?


Remember “Remember the Maine”?

Remember the Archduke Franz Ferdinand?

Remember the “terrorist” assaults of 9/11 provoking an American war against the wrong countries?

It is entirely possible that the death of Chenguang, the beloved, sickened baiji dolphin, would constitute a casus belli.


Current matters aside, The Japanese have been criticized worldwide for their relentless whale hunting, in the process of which they have not only slaughtered whales but dolphins.


For their part, the Japanese have accused the Chinese of disregarding environmental safeguards on land and sea as they zealously set about their metamorphosis from primitive communist totalitarianism to elite techno-industrial player in the global empire.


According to Japan, China’s hell-bent industrialization has not only damaged the environment, possibly irreparably, it has trampled on the most basic human rights, as demonstrated in its criminal annexation of Tibet.


As the official Japanese response phrased it:  Lhasa, Tibet’s capital, now resembles any other high-elevation Chinese city rather than the sanctified mountain kingdom it had been for centuries.


The Chinese GDP (Gross Domestic Product) has overtaken both Japan and the United States to become the highest in the world.


Most wealthy industrialized countries wish to maintain at least an illusion of wilderness; hence, the prevailing theory of the Chinese obsession with the sickened baiji dolphin whom they themselves have made virtually extinct.


It is rather like hanging a multi-million dollar Van Gogh in, say, Mobil Oil’s corporate boardroom.


Question: Once the globe–every particle, in and out of consciousness–is colonized, would a robotic, sickened, female baiji dolphin provide the cachet of a “natural,” sickened, female baiji dolphin?


Officially, the answer would be a resounding yes.


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