Thieves may have gotten to the carcass of a sperm whale that recently washed ashore on a Bali beach first, after officials reported all of its teeth missing and pointed to a lack of awareness among the public about the protected species.
“It’s extremely unfortunate that there are irresponsible parties when it comes to the missing teeth of this stranded whale,” Head of the Coastal and Marine Resources Management Center (BPSPL) in Denpasar, Permana Yudiarso, said.
Last week, the carcasses of two sperm whales were reportedly stranded at different locations in Bali: one near Mertasari Beach, and another on Mengiat Beach.
BPSPL found the second carcass with its teeth already missing, the discovery of which was followed with a statement from the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries highlighting that whales are a protected species in the country.
The second carcass, about 13 meters long, was already decaying by the time BPSPL officers got to the location, with tear wounds around its stomach, tail, and anus.
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Meanwhile, the first carcass was reportedly sighted near Mertasari Beach, though authorities did not manage to locate it. However, they believe that there were two different sperm whales as the first was said to be about 10 meters long.
At the time of publication, authorities are still investigating the double occurrences of stranded sperm whales in southern Bali.
Sperm whales are listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Read more news and updates from Bali here.