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Another whale dead from plastic? A male sei whale was found beached at the mouth of the Sarang Buaya River in Johor, Malaysia earlier this month with marine debris in its stomach. According to one report, local fishermen witnessed the stranded whale shedding tears and groaning as it took its last breaths.
— AustraliaforDolphins (@Aus4Dolphins) February 16, 2016
After a necropsy was performed on the 12 meter-long whale, Johor Fisheries Department Director Munir Mohd Nawi told The Star that small pieces of plastic garbage and parasites were found in the carcass. A large quantity of mud was also found the whale’s respiratory tract and obstructed his breathing.
“There is also a high number of orange-colored nematode parasites within its intestines,” Munir said. “During the post mortem, we also found its internal organs to be badly damaged.”
— Astro AWANI (@501Awani) February 14, 2016
Further tests including a tissue examination will be conducted to see if the whale had any other diseases.
“We want to know its exact cause of death as the sei whale is an endangered species under the International Union for Conservation of Nature,” Munir said.
The baleen whale was first spotted two days earlier at the waters of the coastal district of Pontian. Local rescuers were able to tow the 15-tonne mammal into deeper waters but he later surfaced 90 nautical miles away in the shallow waters of the Sungai Sarang River.
A Sei whale that stranded in Malaysia and was rescued and returned to deep water did not survive…..its body was… https://t.co/w2U01CiqsJ
— Daniella Rooslund (@oceansoffreedom) February 11, 2016
The sight of the dying whale startled local residents. “Before its death, I was stunned by its loud groans and tears, as if it knew it would die soon,” eye-witness Mohd Johari Hamdan told The Malaysia Insider.
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