(Denpasar) A 17-meter sperm whale has died after being washed up on a beach in Bali, Indonesia, a conservation official said on Sunday.

This is the third cetacean found dead stranded in just over a week. This one was spotted on Saturday afternoon on Yeh Leh beach, in the east of the island.

On Wednesday, another 18-meter sperm whale was first found alive, stranded on an east coast beach, then released. He died hours later on another beach with no apparent injuries, Yudiarso said.

On April 1, an 11-meter Bryde’s whale was also found dead stranded on a beach in Tabanan (south), its carcass already decomposing.

“Like the whale found stranded a few days ago,” the sperm whale that died on Saturday appears to have succumbed to disease, according to Permana Yudiarso, a local maritime affairs and fisheries official. “His body was lean,” he added.

It will take at least three weeks before the results of the necropsy are available, but experts have found blood in the lungs of the 17-meter sperm whale and its colon was filled with fluids, detailed the official.

The police blocked access to the area to prevent thefts of meat or parts of the carcass.

In 2018, a sperm whale was found dead with more than 100 cups and 25 plastic bags in its stomach, a dramatic illustration of the scale of the problem of plastic waste at sea facing the Southeast Asian archipelago.

Indonesia is considered the second largest contributor to marine plastic waste after China.