Massive sperm whale beaches itself, dies in Bali
DENPASAR - Indonesian animal experts were preparing on Thursday to conduct an autopsy on an 18m whale that died after washing up on a beach in Bali, conservation officials said.
The sperm whale beached itself in the east of the popular holiday island on Wednesday, before locals and officials pushed it back out to sea.
But after swimming away, it became stranded again hours later on a different beach and died on the shore with no visible wounds, said local marine and fisheries official Permana Yudiarso.
“We are investigating the cause of death. We want to get a scientific explanation of whether it was because of pollution or plastic,” he said.
Sperm whales, the world’s largest predators, are listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as being “vulnerable” to extinction.
Vets and forensic experts have arrived at the scene to investigate the cause of the whale’s death and its carcass will be buried in the coming days.
“We will conduct a necropsy test today and after that, we will get an excavator to try to bury the carcass nearby,” Mr Yudiarso said.
He said whales usually come closer to the shore when they are sick or dying.
Police cordoned off the beach in Bali’s Klungkung regency to stop the theft of the whale’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 South-east Asian archipelago’s massive marine rubbish problem.
Indonesia is the world’s second-biggest contributor to marine debris after China. - AFP