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Jakarta Post

Dead pilot whales buried in mass grave in E. Java

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sat, June 18, 2016   /  11:45 am
Dead pilot whales buried in mass grave in E. Java Several pilot whales have died after a mass stranding on the coast of Probolinggo, East Java on June 15. (Courtesy of Reef Check Indonesia/Indra )

Local people in a village in Probolinggo, East Java, held a traditional funeral for 12 short-finned pilot whales on Friday that died after being beached on the coast.

Not only were the tails of the whales covered in shrouds, locals also put up a gravestone and spread flowers on to the mass grave. Local people also chanted tahlil (prayers for the dead) for seven days in accordance with Javanese tradition.

The treatment was to uphold an ancient tradition passed down for generations, Pesisir village chief of Probolinggo Sanemo said on Friday as reported by kompas.com. Burying whales or sharks like humans had long been the tradition of the village, he added.

The 12 short-finned pilot whales were buried in one 30-square-meter hole not too far from the location where they were stranded.

Probolinggo Maritime and Fisheries Agency used an excavator to move the dead whales to the grave. Hundreds of people came to witness the burial process.

At least 32 pilot whales came ashore in the Probolinggo coast on Wednesday. Those that survived have been returned back to the sea. (rin)

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