A sperm whale that was trapped for days in shallow waters off West Java died on Sunday shortly after rescue workers were able to return the whale to deeper waters.
The 11-meter (36-feet) sperm whale became stranded in shallow water near Pakis Jaya beach on Wednesday. The large whale attracted the attention of onlookers and fishermen, who injured the whale and hampered early rescue efforts, the Jakarta Animal Aid Network (Jaan) said. But after four days, the crews were able to turn the whale to deeper waters.
“The whale was set free at 4 p.m. [on Sunday], it looked tired because [it was] stranded for so long, but we saw that it was still able to swim,” Benvika, of Jaan, said on Monday.
But at 6:30 p.m., Benvika heard that the whale had washed ashore in Muara Gembong, West Java, an hour-and-a-half boat ride Jakarta’s Tanjung Priok.
“We sent a team back immediately and this morning another team was dispatched to coordinate the removal of the carcass,” Benvika said.
The organization was unsure why the animal repeatedly returned to shallow water.
“It could have been suicidal, or underwater drilling activities could have confused his sonar and navigation,” Benvika explained.
The whale carcass will likely be towed to sea and detonated. The whale is listed as a protected species under the 1990 Environmental Law.
Source: The Jakarta Globe