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Whale found dead in Mengalum
Published on: Saturday, February 11, 2012
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Kota Kinabalu: A 40-foot Baleen was found dead on a pristine beach in Pulau Mengalum, about 20 nautical miles northeast of Kota Kinabalu. Veteran entertainer Sammy Ariffin Khan first tipped off Daily Express Thursday about what he thought was a Killer whale.

A nine-member team from the Fisheries Department led by Irman Isnain rushed to the island Friday morning to verify it.

On close examination, Irman identified it to be a Baleen whale but wasn't able pin down exactly which of the 12 species of Baleen because its advanced state of decomposition had defaced its defining characteristics, he said.

Joseph Wong, Manager of the 13-chalet Mengalum Tours & Dive Resort, said the whale beached on the south side of the island early February but was dead when they found it, a good two kilometres from the resort.

Wong said this was the second whale stranding incident on Mengalum in two years.

On 27 January, 2010, an even bigger whale of unknown species beached only a short distance from the resort, and rotted away, he said.

This latest spate of whale stranding in Sabah came after its more famous case of a 20m Bryde's whale which ran aground off Kg Lokurai, Gaya Island, on 15 December, 2006, and died, despite an initial success in refloating it.

Its massive Bryde skeleton is now on display at the Sabah Muesum.

On what to do with the skeleton of the latest find, Irman said Fisheries Department will make a decision later on.

Experts say there seem to be a rising trend of whale beaching across the world.

What the possible new causes maybe is a matter of debate.



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