Four sperm whales dead after beaching in Indonesia

Wednesday, 15 November 2017, 07:44:08 AM. Despite the efforts of dozens of local fishermen and residents attempting to save a pod of beached sperm whales, four of the animals have died.

The large tail of a sperm whale flips up a trail of water while rescuers work to save it. Photo: Rescuers used the high tide to help save six stranded whales. (supplied: Yusri)

Fisheries officials says four of 10 whales that were found beached off Indonesia's Aceh province have died because of injuries and exhaustion.

Nur Mahdi, the head of Aceh's marine and fisheries office, said two whales that were both extensively scratched and bruised, died early today, while two others which were very weak died a few hours later.

He said five of the giant mammals were refloated on Monday and led out to sea by boats, but waves washed two back to shore.

Fishing boats led the pair and a remaining whale out to sea on Tuesday.

Dozens of people in the water as another sperm whale is helped back into the ocean Photo: Dozens of local fishermen and townspeople helped push the whales back into the ocean. (Supplied: Yusri)

The sperm whales became stranded Monday at Ujong Kareng beach and attracted hundreds of onlookers who posed for pictures with them.

Dozens of local fishermen and residents flocked to the beach to desperately try and save the giant mammals and move them back into the ocean.

Dorsal fins of 2 sperm whales in the water with people nearby helping to rescue them and others taking photos. Photo: While six of the whales were rescued, there were fears they might return to the beach. (Supplied: Yusri)

In Aceh, it was the most basic of rescue operations with no sophisticated equipment or boats.

"We are not sure whether we can save them, but we are trying to be optimistic, we are trying our best," head of the rescue operation, Hariadi Purnomo, said earlier.

Last year a dead sperm whale was found on a beach near Banda Aceh city.

Sperm whale flips its tail while a crowd of people work to push it back into the ocean, with help from a fishing boat. Photo: Locals fear for five whales still on the beach, two of which are injured. (Supplied: Yusri)

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