Tue, Mar 29, 2011 - Page 14 News List

Porpoise ‘rescued from field after Japan tsunami’
海嘯襲捲日本 新鼠海豚稻田獲救

Japanese pet shop owner Ryo Taira rescues a young finless porpoise from a flooded paddy 2km inland, in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture in Japan on Wednesday.
日本一位寵物店老闆Ryo Taira上週三在日本宮城縣仙台市,從被淹沒的稻田救出一尾幼年新鼠海豚。

Photo: AFP / Asahi Shimbun

Japanese animal rescue volunteers saved a porpoise from a rice field after it was washed 2km inland by the March 11 tsunami, Japan’s Asahi Shimbun reported Wednesday.

Ryo Taira and his group were in the devastated area around Sendai rescuing cats and dogs when they received a phone call that took them a while to comprehend, the mass-circulation daily said in an online report.

“There’s a dolphin in the rice fields!” said the caller, Masayuki Sato, 55, confusing the baby porpoise with the similar-looking sea mammal.

The volunteers rushed to the site at nearby Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, where they saw the animal — a finless porpoise, or “sunameli” (Neophocaena phocaenoides) — wriggling in a flooded rice field.

They made a stretcher from car parts and a futon mattress they found in the tsunami wreckage, and tried to catch the porpoise with a net.

When the animal eluded them, Taira waded into the field in his rubber boots and picked it up in his arms, the report said.

With local aquariums damaged by the disaster, the volunteers decided to cover the animal in wet towels, put it in their car and return it to the sea.

Sato, the caller, later told the Asahi: “Immediately after I spotted it, I realized I could not ignore it. I had to do something. This was also a victim of the tsunami.”

He said he remembered seeing the animal rescuers’ phone number on a poster in a quake and tsunami evacuation center.

Taira told the newspaper of his thoughts as he watched the animal swim off into the Pacific Ocean: “I don’t know if it will survive, but it’s much better than dying in a rice field, right? It’s good.”




1. wriggle v.

蠕動 (ru2 dong4)

例: I’m not a fan of fishing because the sight of wriggling worms makes me feel ill.


2. wade v.

涉(水) (she4 (shui3))

例: The river is shallow enough to wade across, we don’t need to swim.


3. spot v.

看見 (kan4 jian4)

例: He didn’t spot the hole in the story until after the book had been printed.


這個發行量大的日報在網路的一篇報導說,Ryo Taira與他同組(志工)在仙台四處搜救貓狗時,接到一通電話,但聽了半天才聽懂。

五十五歲的Masayuki Sato(在電話中)說:「有一隻海豚在稻田裡!」原來他將幼年新鼠海豚和與牠長相類似的海洋哺乳類動物混為一談。

這群志工們趕往在宮城縣石卷市附近的地點,在那裡看到這尾新鼠海豚或稱為「江豚」(學名:Neophocaena phocaenoides),在被淹沒的稻田內蠕動著。








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