Only three of 45 short-finned pilot whales have survived a mass stranding in shallow waters on Indonesia’s Madura Island off the north-eastern coast of Java.
Officials said the three whales were pushed back to the sea by volunteers and local authorities along the Modung beach in East Java province.
East Java governor Khofifah Indar Parawansa said authorities are investigating the cause of the deaths while the carcasses will be buried around the coast.
She said: “The volunteers who are helping them to get back to the ocean said that some of the whales got back to the coast again as their mothers are still stranded at the beach.”
According to data from Whale Stranding Indonesia, there were 59 beaching incidents in the country last year, most of them dugongs and spinner dolphins.