Ten whales were found dead on an Indonesian beach on Thursday, officials said, with images showing locals scurrying to push a still living member of the stricken pod back into the sea.
The marine mammals, measuring between 2 and 6 meters in length, have been found in the remote province of East Nusa Tenggara, the head of the region’s water conservation agency, Ikram Sangadji, told AFP. .
Images showed a group of about 10 men struggling to push an eleventh member of the pod through the cooking sand and back into the ocean.
They eventually managed to put the creature – which was marked with deep cuts – in the water, and it appeared to swim on its own, eliciting cheers from the group.
Authorities concluded that the affected pod was likely pilot whales, Sangadji said.
Short-finned pilots are very sociable and are often involved in massive strandings, although scientists are still not sure why.
Residents helped dig graves to bury the carcasses of the ten dead whales, which were whipped with cuts likely caused by the creatures coming into contact with sharp rocks, Sangadji added.
Cross currents off beaches pose a danger to whales as they can get stuck between reefs close to shore.
Last week, a 23-meter giant blue whale stranded near a beach near Kupang, the capital of eastern Nusa Tenggara.
Seven pilot whales were found dead near Kupang last October.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by GalacticGaming staff and is posted from a syndicated feed.)