SHENZHEN, March 17 (Xinhua) -- An autopsy conducted Thursday on a sperm whale that died after being stranded in southern China's Guangdong Province has found that the whale was pregnant, according to marine life experts.
"It is the first time that an unborn baby has been found inside a stranded sperm whale in the world," said Tong Shenhan, head of the land and marine life research institute of Xiamen city.
The 2-meters-long embryo weighs 110.5 kilograms, and the mother is nearly 11-meters-long and weighs more than 14 tonnes.
On Sunday morning, fishery authorities in Shenzhen city received a report of an adult whale trapped in fishing nets in waters off Daya Bay.
After the whale was freed from the nets, authorities and zoologists tried to guide it back into deep sea. However, it continued to swim in shallow waters off Shenzhen and Huizhou cities. It was confirmed to have been stranded near a wharf Tuesday afternoon and died Wednesday.
Experts with the Chinese Academy of Sciences detected a failure in the whale's sonar system. Research is underway to determine the precise cause of death.