LABUAN: A dead look-alike baby humpback whale was washed ashore near the Kg Sg Labu shoreline Thursday morning.
Officials estimated the almost 20-foot whale to be over a year-old and had been dead when it was found lying on the beach.
Labuan Fisheries Department director Anuar Salam Sulaiman told Bernama the cause of the death was not clear and a report had been submitted to the fisheries headquarter in Putrajaya for a thorough investigation.
There were no signs of trauma, such as propeller marks. But the team from our headquarters will carry out investigations to find the cause of death.
Whether it was caught or trapped in a fishing net or hit by trawler, he said.
Anuar said during investigations, samples would be collected to determine its origin.
"It is tough to see. It is so young to die naturally. It is very surprising and very sad, he added.
Villagers found the whale at about 10am, which attracted many villagers to the beach and some even posed for pictures with the whale.
Anuar said the whale's remains would be buried inland Friday at the Kg Sg Labu beach, away from the shoreline, so it would not be decomposed quickly and sort of unhealthy elements.
For the time being, while waiting for the autopsy and investigation teams to arrive, we must bury the whale. The remains will be exhumed for an autopsy later, he said. - Bernama