"Based on visual observation, they are pilot whales," Ikram Sangadji, head of the Kupang's Water Conservation Agency (BKKPN), stated here on Thursday.
However, only one of the beached whales survived and could be saved by the locals, while 10 others died. The whales measured between two and seven meters in length.
Sangadji pointed out that the pilot whales lived in groups, so the possibility remained high of spotting more incidents of beachings.
"Perhaps, the number of stranded pilot whales will continue to increase," he stated.
Sangadji noted that the agency's personnel would only be able to arrive in the district on Friday (July 31), as it would take a day to reach there from the agency's office in Kupang, the capital of East Nusa Tenggara.
"For now, the local residents have readied the graves, and the whales' carcasses were tied up, so they would not drift toward the sea," he stated.
Sangadji explained that the pilot whales innately followed the sea currents that carried along the planktons to the coastal areas.
"When the sea waters receded, it became increasingly difficult for them to return to the deeper waters. Many of them suffered serious wounds after being scraped by corals while attempting to swim back to the sea," he added.
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EDITED BY INE