Mexico | After captured vaquita dies, conservationists shut down risky rescue program
On a windy afternoon last weekend, Cynthia Smith was on a boat in the Gulf of California, searching for one of the rarest marine mammals in the world.
Never before had a vaquita porpoise been successfully captured and cared for by humans. But Dr. Smith, a veterinarian with a group known as Vaquita CPR, knew that the porpoises — whose black-rimmed eyes and dark noses have earned them the moniker “panda of the sea” — were likely to disappear without human intervention. Scientists estimate there are fewer than 30 vaquitas left in the wild. It was a last resort.