A 17-meter-long (56-foot-long) sperm whale died after washing up on a beach in Bali, a conservation official said Sunday, making it the third whale that beached itself on the Indonesian island in just a little over a week.
The male sperm whale was found stranded on Yeh Leh beach in west Bali’s Jembrana district on Saturday afternoon.
“We are currently trying to pull the carcass to the shore to make it easier for the necropsy test and we will bury it after the test is concluded,” Permana Yudiarso, a local marine and fisheries official, told AFP Sunday.
This is the third whale that has beached itself in Bali, a popular destination for holidaymakers, in April alone.
On Wednesday, an 18-meter-long male sperm whale was stranded in the Klungkung district, on Bali’s eastern coast.
Before that, a Bryde’s whale weighing more than two tonnes and at least 11 meters long was found stranded on a beach in Tabanan on April 1 — its carcass already rotted when discovered by locals.
Yudiarso told AFP that their initial suspicion is that the sperm whale found Saturday also died of sickness, “just like the whale found stranded a few days ago”.
“The body looked skinny and sickly,” he said.
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Yudiarso said it would take at least three weeks for the necropsy test to be concluded but forensic experts found some bleeding in the whale’s lungs and its colon was filled with fluids.
Police have cordoned off the location to prevent people from stealing the mammal’s meat or body parts.
In 2018, a sperm whale was found dead in Indonesia with more than 100 plastic cups and 25 plastic bags in its stomach, raising concerns about the Southeast Asian archipelago’s massive marine rubbish problem.
Indonesia is the world’s second-biggest contributor to marine debris after China.