Kendari, SE Sulawesi (ANTARA) - Southeast Sulawesi Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) members and the local fishermen’s community on Saturday rescued a whale shark from Kambu River after failing to guide it out of the river towards the sea.

"The 3.4-meter-long whale shark has successfully been evacuated from the Kambu River in Poasia Sub-district, Kendari City," Head of the agency's conservation affairs, La Ode Kaida, remarked.

It took two hours to rescue to the sea the giant mammal that got lost and stranded in the river whose muddy water was at low tide, he stated.

Kaida remarked that the ill-fated whale shark was firstly spotted swimming in the river by a local resident. He then called other people and reported about his sighting to the BKSDA authority.

The Kendari city residents passing by the Kambu river bridge stopped for a while to watch rescuers evacuate the mammal to the sea, he noted.

Several whales have repeatedly got lost and washed ashore on the Indonesian coastal areas over the past years.

In July 2019, an 11-meter-long whale was found dead after it was washed ashore on Bambang Beach of Lumajang District, East Java Province.

The ill-fated whale carcass was first found by Siyo, a resident of Rekesan Hamlet in Bago Village, Pasirian Sub-district, Lumajang District, while heading to his rice field near the Bambang Beach area.

"From the distance, I saw something big and stinky. After approaching it, I know it was a whale carcass," Siyo revealed.

Siyo then reported his finding to the head of Rekesan Hamlet and the Pasirian police chief. Along with several personnel of the village's security unit, the local policemen buried the carcass.

The burial was necessary as the animal carcass emitted a stench, Pasirian Sub-district Police Chief Inspector, Agus Sugiarto, stated, adding that he was unsure about the species of the whale.

Regarding the death of the whale, Chief of Lumajang District's Police Precinct Adjunct, Senior Commissioner Muhammad Arsal Sahban, speculated that the mammal could have died at sea before its carcass was washed ashore.

In November 2018, Indonesia was in the spotlight of the mainstream media in the country and abroad after a sperm whale was found dead, with 5.9 kilograms of plastic waste in its stomach.

The ill-fated sperm whale was found washed ashore in the marine national park of Wakatobi, Southeast Sulawesi Province, on November 19, 2018.

The death of the ill-fated sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) was widely published and broadcast by reputable international news media, including the Associated Press, CNN, BBC, ABC, The Guardian, and National Geographic.

Washed ashore Kapota Isle, Wakatobi District, Southeast Sulawesi Province, this dead marine mammal had only added to the number of whales that died after ingesting plastic waste.

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Translator: Abdul AS, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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