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Giant Whale Found In Forest By Fishermen Who Don’t Know How It Died

by : Julia Banim on : 30 Jan 2020 16:35
Giant Whale Found In Forest By Fishermen Who Don't Know How It DiedGiant Whale Found In Forest By Fishermen Who Don't Know How It DiedAsiaWire

Fishermen in Indonesia have been left baffled after coming across the body of a gigantic whale lying in a swamp in a mangrove forest.

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The 9.2-metre (30-foot) long sperm whale is believed to have washed up in the village of Tasilo, which is located in the Rote Ndao Regency in Indonesia’s East Nusa Tenggara province. The stranded whale was found about 500 meters from the shore, having apparently become stuck in the forest.

After the fishermen raised the alarm, a government water conservation team arrived at the forest to collect the gigantic whale corpse from the swamp. The animal is believed to have died after suffering extensive injuries.

Sperm whaleSperm whaleneedpix.com

Ikram Sangadji, a spokesperson for the Kupang Water Conservation Area Agency (BKKPN) water conservation team, made the following statement:

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We sent a team, soon we were told the location to recover the body and bury it to prevent the water table being contaminated.

Sangadji and the team have conducted an investigation into the incident, but have so far been unable draw any definitive conclusions.

The whale’s body had been buried after a large hole was dug in the ground using excavators. Local residents have been urged against touching the body or making any attempt to eat any of its meat, The Jakarta Post reports.

Mangrove ForestMangrove ForestWikimedia Commons

According to information given by local residents, the mammal’s body was first discovered on January 22 at approximately 1pm. local time.

Tasilo village head Maria Foes reportedly contacted authorities after receiving report about the death of the protected animal:

We suspect that the sperm whale had been stranded and died a few days [before it was found].

Indonesia has approximately three million hectares of mangrove forest growing along the coastline. These flood during high tides and are filled up with mud when the water flows away during low tide.

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Sadly, like many forests worldwide, they are under threat. In the last 30 years alone, a horrifying 40% of the country’s mangroves have vanished altogether.

Sperm WhaleSperm WhaleWikipedia

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries website, commercial whaling from 1800 right up until the 1980s drastically decreased sperm whale population worldwide.

In 1986, the International Whaling Commission (IWC) placed a moratorium on commercial whaling. The species is said to be still recovering and, although they are remain classed as endangered, population numbers are believed to be on the increase.

Currently, there is no exact accounting of the total number of sperm whales worldwide. The best estimate of worldwide sperm whale population is between 300,000 and 450,000 individuals.

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: Animals, Fishermen, Forest, Giant Whale, Indonesia

Credits

The Jakarta Post
  1. The Jakarta Post

    Dead sperm whale found in mangrove area of NTT beach