Giant Whale Found In Forest By Fishermen Who Don’t Know How It Died
Fishermen in Indonesia have been left baffled after coming across the body of a gigantic whale lying in a swamp in a mangrove forest.
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.
Ikram Sangadji, a spokesperson for the Kupang Water Conservation Area Agency (BKKPN) water conservation team, made the following statement:
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
CreditsThe Jakarta Post
The Jakarta Post