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Desperately Seeking Jonah

Despite Valiant Local Efforts, Humpback Whale Beaches itself and Dies on Bali's Kelanting Beach.

(10/15/2007) On October 2, 2007, a 6-meter long humpback whale became entangled in fishermen's nets near Bali's famous Tanah Lot Temple causing it to become stranded on a nearby beach. Thanks to a concerted response by 28 Balinese drawn from local lifeguard services, search and rescue staff, water police and local volunteers - the distressed whale was released from the fishing nets and, after a six hours effort, towed back to the open sea.

The whale reportedly seemed reluctant to accept rescue efforts, trying to swim back to shore on several occasions only to be pushed back into the ocean by local bystanders.

Sadly, local conservation experts believe the decaying carcass of a whale that washed up on Kelanting Beach one week later, on October 9, 2007, was the same whale encountered by rescuers the week before. Based on the condition of the whale, authorities think the whale may have been dead for 2-3 days before it washed ashore on Tuesday.

Officials cremated the whale on the beach in the afternoon of October 9, 2007.

Humpback whales are a protected species of endangered whale and one of six species of whales known to frequent the waters surrounding Bali.