A video of a whale stranded on Semawang Beach in Sanur went viral on social media on Monday, December 18. At the time of the recording, the animal was still alive. Local residents and nearby tourists initially tried to help the whale return to the sea, but the operation was unsuccessful. The mammal persistently returned to the shore.
After the unsuccessful attempt to send the whale back to the depths, people noticed injuries on the animal's body. The wounds were severe and, as later revealed, incompatible with life. Veterinarians were called to the beach to evacuate and provide first aid to the whale. Unfortunately, they couldn't do anything. A few hours after the discovery, the whale died.
It was a dwarf whale, the smallest of all sperm whales in the world. They usually inhabit tropical and subtropical waters, feeding on fish, squid, and octopuses. Dwarf whales are also under the threat of extinction, with major risks being commercial fishing, marine pollution, and climate change.
The deceased whale in Sanur was a typical representative of its kind, with a graceful body, dark color, a length not exceeding 3 meters, and a width of 40 centimeters.
The head of the Bali Natural Resources Conservation Center, who arrived at the scene of the whale's death, speculated that the animal might have been attacked by another predator, likely sharks. He also mentioned that these whales typically gather in groups, but this individual might have separated and gotten lost after an attack.
To learn more about the whale's condition and the possible causes of death, specialists conducted a necropsy before burying the carcass. However, the results of this work have not been published yet.
This is the second whale in December alone that has died on the shores of Bali. A female sperm whale, over 10 meters long, was found on Legian Beach. Determining the cause of death for this individual was even more challenging, as the carcass had already started to decompose at the time of discovery.