Jakarta. Ten sperm whales were found stranded on the shore of Ujung Kreung in Aceh Besar's Mesjid Raya subdistrict, Aceh, on Monday morning (13/11).
"Ten whales were stranded on the shoreline. They are now being evacuated with a small boat," local resident Yusri Mantong told the Jakarta Globe via text message.
He added that all the whales were still alive and that the rescue efforts were coordinated by the Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA), Seafarers Education and Training Center (BP2IP Malahayati) and the Aceh chapter of the World Wildlife Fund.
Ricky Wahyudi, a member of the Indonesian Military (TNI) stationed in Mesjid Raya subdistrict, said residents reported the stranding at around 10 a.m.
"At the time, the whales were about a kilometer from the shore, but after a while, they were seen moving up to about a dozen meters from the beach," Ricky said, as quoted by state-run news agency Antara.
Teuku Nurmadi, a Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry official in Aceh, meanwhile said it is rare for whales to strand in the area and that the animals may have become disorientated while migrating.
"We do not know where these whales are coming from and where they are migrating to. We also still do not know what caused the injuries some of the stranded whales sustained," he said.