Indonesian beach sees death of dozens of whales, rescuers save three
BANGKALAN (INDONESIA) – Forty-six whales, which were marooned on a beach on the Indonesian island of Madura have surrendered to death. However, rescuers managed to bring three of them back to safety, the provincial governor said on Friday.
A rescue effort was initiated on Thursday after dozens of pilot whales beached. Volunteers helped bring some back out to sea.
East Java Governor Khofifah Indar Parawansa said, “But some came back here, trying to find their mothers, though it turns out the mothers are dead.”
Video footage on Friday showed whales scattered across a wide area with local residents with ankle-deep water, even as some were trying to splash water on them or push them out to sea.
The governor told authorities have decided to bury the dead whales on Saturday after there is a receding of the tide and said two excavators had been brought in.
That said, it is strange that whales, which usually travel together in pods, have ended up beaching themselves. They are known to follow a leader as well as gather around a whale, when it is injured or distressed.
Whale Stranding Indonesia, a non-governmental organisation, says in 2020 more than 70 marine mammals were found stranded, including dugongs.