The Baiji, nicknamed the Goddess of the Yangtze, is a critically endangered freshwater dolphin native to the Yangtze River in China. Considered by some biologists as functionally extinct, the last captive Baiji died in 2002 and the last reported sighting was 2007.
The Baiji declined due to pollution, over-hunting and collisions with ships, among other factors. Baiji fossils that have been found have been dated to 25 million years ago and have been traced to the Yangtze 20 million years ago.
The Baiji is linked to an ancient Chinese story about a princess who was drowned for refusing to go through with a loveless marriage. She was reborn as a Baiji and is a symbol of prosperity and peace.
The Baiji would be an excellent addition to an Imperial Chinese game, either as a source of a quest or a transformed court poet in need of rescue.