animal welfare

10 dead whales found on Indonesian beach, 1 saved by locals

Agence France-Presse, Agence France-Presse
10 dead whales found on Indonesian beach, 1 saved by locals

This handout picture taken and released on July 30, 2020 by Indonesian nature conservation agency (BKSDA) shows villagers trying to push a still-living whale back into the sea at Lie Jaka beach in Sabu Raijua, East Nusa Tenggara. - Ten whales covered in deep cuts were found dead on an Indonesian beach on July 30, the conservation agency said, a week after a giant blue whale washed up in the same region. The marine mammals, ranging from two-to-six metres (6.5-20 feet) in length, were found in the province of East Nusa Tenggara, where locals scrambled to push one still-living whale from the pod back into the sea. (Photo by Handout / Indonesian nature conservation agency (BKSDA) / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO /Indonesian nature conservation agency (BKSDA)" - NO MARKETING - NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

Indonesia Nature conservation

Footage show a group of around 10 men struggling to push an 11th member of the pod across the baking sands and back into the ocean

Ten whales were found dead on an Indonesian beach Thursday, July 30, officials said, with images showing locals rushing to push a still-living member of the stricken pod back into the sea.

The marine mammals, ranging from 2-6 meters (6.5-20 feet) in length, were found in the remote province of East Nusa Tenggara, the head of the region’s water conservation agency Ikram Sangadji told AFP.

Footage showed a group of around 10 men struggling to push an eleventh member of the pod across the baking sands and back into the ocean.

They eventually managed to get the creature – which was scarred with deep cuts – into the water, and it appeared to swim off by itself, prompting loud cheers from the group.

Officials had concluded the stricken pod were likely short-finned pilot whales, Sangadji said.

Short-finned pilots are highly social and are often involved in mass strandings, although scientists are still unclear as to why.

Residents helped dig graves to bury the carcasses of the 10 dead whales, which were lashed with cuts likely caused by the creatures coming into contact with sharp rocks, Sangadji added.

Cross-currents off beaches pose a danger to whales as they can get caught between reefs close to shore.

Last week, a giant 23-meter blue whale washed up near a beach near East Nusa Tenggara’s capital city Kupang.

Seven pilot whales were found dead near Kupang last October. – Rappler.com