At least fourteen young male sperm whale carcasses were found along a beach of Australia’s King Island, local authorities announced on Tuesday.
The whales most likely were a bachelor pod, a pod of young male whales who stay together after leaving their family groups.
The whales were already dead when they were first spotted on Monday, a spokesperson for Australia’s Department of Natural Resources and Environment said. Aerial inspections will be carried out to determine if there are more carcasses.
Videos and photos taken by locals show the whales lying on their sides near the water, in a state of decomposition.
Experts are investigating the cause of death. The bodies will probably be left on the beach to decompose naturally since the rocky environment makes it difficult for vehicles to tow the carcasses away, local media reported.
In the past, similar whale strandings have been reported along the shores of King Island, but the exact reason of whale strandings remains unknown, local media said. In 2020, around 470 pilot whales died after they stranded in Australia.