At least 10 whales die as rescuers battle to return stranded pod to the sea

At least ten pilot whales have died after a pod of more than 30 became stranded on the coast on Indonesia’s main island of Java. Some of the animals could not be saved despite the efforts of rescue workers who managed to pull most of them them back into the sea. There were reports that as many of 15 were feared to have died. Dozens of rescuers using two boats were said to be trying to drive the last two stranded whales still alive out into deeper waters.

At first there were just one or two whales swimming near the shore, and the nature of whales is that if they are sick they will come near the shore. But whales have such high social interaction – when one fell ill, they approached the sick one to swim back to sea… When the tide fell, all of them were trapped

Maritime and fisheries office spokesman

The whales began stranding themselves during high tide on Wednesday on the coast of Pesisir village in Probolinggo district. They are thought to be short-finned pilot whales, which live in tropical and subtropical waters and are the most common species to become stranded. Researchers will carry out post-mortem examinations to try to figure out what drove the whales ashore before the corpses are buried, officials said.

If they are still alive, we will surely help them return to deep sea. The dead ones, we must bury them

Pesisir village chief Sanemo