Whale shark discovered dead on beach of Indonesia's East Java

A whale shark seen at the Sulawesi Sea. - The Star/Asian News Network

JAKARTA, Aug 31 (Xinhua): A critically endangered large whale shark (rhincodon typus) was washed ashore and found dead on the beach of Indonesia's western East Java province, an official said.

The nine-metre-long (9m) whale shark was discovered by residents on the Paseban beach of Jember district on Sunday, said Setyo Utomo, head of Natural Resources Conservation Agency of Region III in the district.

The official said that the agency immediately sent a team to the site after receiving information about the finding of the mammal, local media reported on Monday.

Officials of the agency and the residents jointly pulled the two-ton dead animal to the seashore and buried it, Utomo said.

"If the protected whale shark is found alive, it has to be pushed back to the sea, but when it dies the dead animal has to be buried," he said.

Whale sharks and whales have been often washed onto the coasts in Indonesia, a vast-archipelagic nation, and many of them were rescued by local residents and officials by pushing them back to the sea.

Previously, three whale sharks were washed ashore on the coast of Jember district in July.

Unfortunately, one of them died due to getting stuck in a fisherman's net. - Xinhua
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