At least 10 whales have washed ashore and died on Bali's southern beaches in recent weeks, a tragedy which local conservationists are blaming on bad weather and unusually strong currents affecting the area.
Quoted by the Associated Press, Budi Adnyana of the Bali Conservation and Natural Resource Agency identified two of the ten dead whales as two giant sperm with the remaining eight as short-finned pilot whales.
The whale carcasses washed ashore and became entangled in the mangrove reserves surrounding Serangan island, near the popular beach resort area of Sanur.
While local villagers harvested the whale blubber as a source of natural oils, two of the short-finned pilot whales were evacuated by officials and sent to a local school of veterinary medicine for academic study and evaluation. DNA samples were also taken from all the dead whales to determine if the mammals were related members of a single pod.
The dead whales were found on February 2, 2009, and are believed to have been dead for one week at the time of their discovery.
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