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Jakarta Post

Dozens of whales stranded on East Java coast, 15 likely dead

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, June 16, 2016   /  01:06 pm
Dozens of whales stranded on East Java coast, 15 likely dead At least 15 pilot whales have died after a mass stranding on the coast of Probolinggo, East Java, on June 15, 2016. (Courtesy of Reef Check Indonesia/Indra )

Dozens of pilot whales have beached on the coast of East Java, discovered on Wednesday by residents in Probolinggo, East Java. The giant marine mammals are thought to have become stranded due to changes in the sea temperature.

The short-finned pilot whales were seen around the shore on Wednesday afternoon. Most managed to return to the sea but returned to shore as one had become stuck, leaving them all trapped by the sudden low tide.

Wahid, the Maritime Resources Management Office head, said at least 32 pilot whales had been found stranded. Seven of them were less than two meters in length and the local fishermen had tied them to prevent them getting washed further ashore.

"Approximately 25 whales came ashore around the estuary, 15 of these whales are not moving and are likely dead […] the colony may have been searching for cooler waters but got stranded," he said as quoted by in Jakarta on Wednesday night.

The local residents have taken the deceased whales to land, through the creek, for burial. According to local tradition, the residents must hold a burial for dead whales as they believe that whales purposely come ashore to end their journey.

“What do you expect us to do? If they are still alive, we will surely help them return to deep sea. The dead ones, we must bury them,” said the Pesisir village chief Sanemo. (ags)

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