Seven stranded whales found dead in Indonesia

Villagers and maritime officers checking on pilot whales that were stranded on Kolo Udju beach on the coast of Menia Village, East Nusa Tenggara, on Oct 11, 2019.
Villagers and maritime officers checking on pilot whales that were stranded on Kolo Udju beach on the coast of Menia Village, East Nusa Tenggara, on Oct 11, 2019.PHOTO: AFP

KUPANG, INDONESIA (AFP) - Seven pilot whales were found dead on an eastern Indonesian beach, an official said Saturday (Oct 12), after 17 were stranded in the remote area.

Residents of nearby Menia Village managed to save 10 of the whales, all roughly three to four metres long, in a rescue attempt on Friday.

"There were some lacerations on their body from the contacts with rocks," local marine conservation agency head Ikram Sangaji told AFP.

He added that the injuries on the whales indicated they were not handled properly during the rescue.

Six of the animals were buried in a traditional ceremony but one was chopped apart by some of the villagers for its meat, Mr Sangaji said.

Local officials had taken samples of the bodies to investigate the deaths and why they were stranded.

Mr Sangaji said in 2012 more than 40 whales were found stranded on the beach Kolo Udju beach on the coast of Menia Village, East Nusa Tenggara.

Cross-currents off the beach pose a danger to whales as they can easily get caught between the fringing reefs during the tidal waves, he said.