450-kg whale shark found dead in S. China as body will be use for educational purpose.

Residents of Yangpu Peninsula, in south China’s Hainan Province, had a very close encounter with a marine giant on Wednesday. Police received calls reporting the sighting of a “stranded whale,” with locals hoping authorities would rescue the giant creature.

After arriving on scene, experts from the local Ocean and Fisheries Administration identified the marine animal as a six-meter-long whale shark and confirmed it was dead. Whale sharks are a vulnerable species and protected by China's law, according to China Wildlife Conservation Association (CWCA).

Thanks to the care by the local people, the body of the creature was properly handled and well preserved. The 450-kilogram fish was transported to Hainan's provincial museum and, after a preservation process, it will be showcased to the public for educational purposes.

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