(Denpasar) An 18-meter sperm whale that washed up on a beach in Bali was due for an autopsy on Thursday, conservation officials on the Indonesian island said.

The cetacean weighing several tons was first found alive on a beach on the tourist island on Wednesday, then was released to the sea by the authorities and local residents.

But he was stranded again a few hours later on another beach where he died, with no apparent injuries, Permana Yudiarso, a local maritime affairs and fisheries official, told AFP.

“We are still investigating the cause of his death. We want a scientific explanation, whether pollution or plastic (waste) is to blame. ยป

Forensic experts and veterinarians were to go on site to determine the causes of the death of the sperm whale, whose carcass should be buried in the coming days.

“Today we’re going to do a necropsy, and then we’ll use a backhoe to bury the carcass near here,” the official said.

The police blocked access to the beach located in the Klungkung district to prevent any theft of cetacean meat or parts of the animal.

Sperm whales often approach beaches when they are sick or dying, Permana Yudiarso noted.

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

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