Crowds hamper beached whale rescue

2012-07-27 11:45
Rescuers are struggling to save a stranded sperm whale. (Ricardo Arduengo, AP)

Rescuers are struggling to save a stranded sperm whale. (Ricardo Arduengo, AP)

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VIDEO: Whale stranding

2012-07-27 08:46

This YouTube video shows a stranding of pilot whales off Florida.WATCH

Jakarta - Rescuers say a giant sperm whale beached in Indonesia is slowly dying after rescue efforts were hampered by hordes of spectators vying to get a closer look.

Pramudya Harzani from the Jakarta Animal Aid Network said Friday that the two ton whale, a protected species, washed ashore on Wednesday near West Java's Krawang beach and attracted hundreds of onlookers who posed for pictures with it.

He said rescuers tried to lead the 12m whale to sea on Thursday, but it washed back to shore after fishing boats packed with paying passengers blocked it from swimming.

He said the whale was scratched and bruised, apparently from people climbing on it.

Police are now trying to keep people away from the weak whale while waiting for a ship to pull it back to sea.

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