Sperm whale found dead in Bali, third this week

Sperm whale found dead in Bali, third this week
Onlookers stand near a dead sperm whale on Yeh Leh Beach in Jembrana, Bali, Indonesia, April 8, 2023, credit: Cahya/Yayasan Bali Bersih/via Reuters

A male sperm whale was found dead on a beach in Jembrana in Bali on Saturday, making it the third whale to be found dead in Bali within a week. 

The cause of death has not yet been determined, but an autopsy will be conducted. The whale is one of several whales that have died on Bali beaches in recent weeks. 

On Wednesday, a sperm whale washed up dead on the shores of Karangasem in Bali. Local marine and fisheries officer Permana Yudiarso said that more whales are dying in 2023 than in 2022 during the same period, adding that “there is something wrong with our ocean.”

The discovery of the dead whale on Saturday on the Bali beach has sparked concern and curiosity among locals and tourists alike. People were standing near the body of the whale, observing it closely. 

Why do whales strand?
Whale strandings, or beachings, occur when whales swim or are washed ashore and become stuck on land. The exact reasons for whale strandings have yet to be entirely understood, but several human-created factors may contribute to these events.

Sick or injured whales may be too weak to swim against the currents, leading them to beach themselves. Injuries could be due to natural causes or human-related activities, such as collisions with ships or entanglement in fishing gear.

Some studies suggest that human-made underwater noises, such as military sonar and seismic exploration, could interfere with the whales’ natural echolocation system, causing disorientation and leading to strandings.

Whales affected by parasites or diseases may have impaired brain function, affecting their navigation ability and leading to strandings. Unusual oceanographic conditions, such as changes in water temperature or salinity, or extreme weather events like storms, can cause disorientation and force whales towards the shore.


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