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Rescuers return trapped whale to deep waters in Indonesia, but it dies shortly

07-30-2012 14:37 BJT

JAKARTA, July 30 (Xinhua) -- Rescuers have evacuated a trapped sperm whale from shallow waters off West Java, Indonesia to deeper waters, but unfortunately it died shortly afterwards, rescuers said on Monday.

The 11-meter sperm whale had stranded in shallow waters near Pakis Jaya beach since Wednesday before it was rescued on Sunday. The large whale attracted the attention of onlookers and fishermen, who injured the whale and hampered early rescue efforts, the Jakarta Animal Aid Network (JAAN) said. But after four days, the crews were able to turn the whale to deeper waters.

"The whale was set free at 4 p.m. Jakarta time (on Sunday), it looked tired because (it was) stranded for so long, but we saw that it was still able to swim," Benvika of JAAN was quoted by the Jakarta Globe online as saying.

But at 6:30 p.m. Jakarta time Benvika heard that the whale had washed ashore in Muara Gembong, West Java.

"We sent a team back immediately and this morning another team was dispatched to coordinate the removal of the carcass," Benvika said.

The organization was unsure why the animal repeatedly returned to shallow waters. "It could have been suicidal, or underwater drilling activities could have confused his sonar and navigation," Benvika explained.

The whale carcass will likely be towed to sea and detonated. The whale is listed as a protected species under the 1990 Environmental Law.

Editor:James |Source: Xinhua

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