Officials said the second, much longer whale washed up on Himchhari Beach at around 8.30am on Saturday, just a day after the carcass of a Bryde's whale was found two kilometres from the spot
Two dead whales have washed up on the same stretch of the Cox's Bazar coastline in two days, officials said on Saturday, raising suspicions that they succumbed to sea pollution.
Officials said the second, much longer whale washed up on Himchhari Beach at around 8.30am on Saturday, just a day after the carcass of a Bryde's whale was found two kilometres from the spot.
“The carcass of the whale found today is at least 50 feet long and 10 feet wide. It weighs three to four tons," Jahirul Islam, executive director of the Cox's Bazar-based Marine Life Alliance, told AFP.
Jahirul said the whales could have been killed in a collision with a ship plying the Bay of Bengal, or might have died after eating plastic which litter the sea.
The bodies of these whales have become rotten and have almost decomposed.
"Primarily we think the two whales have died from consuming plastic and polluted objects. There is an injury mark on the back of the second whale. We suspect it could have been hit by a high-speed vessel," Jahirul said.
Marine Resources Movement Coordinator Mofizur Rahman Mofiz said, “Whales die for two reasons. One, whales commit suicide when they reach old age. Another is that those whales may have died due to injuries sustained while navigating in the Bay of Bengal.
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A spokesman for Bangladesh's environment and forestry department said its researchers had collected samples from the carcasses for post-mortem examinations.
Humayun Kabir, divisional forest officer (DFO) of Cox's Bazar South Forest Division, told Dhaka Tribune: “Samples from the two whales have been collected. After examining the samples, it will be known how the two whales died. But initially we can assume that the two whales might have died due to old age.”
Kabir said, “The first one was found on Friday and dumped in the ground to avoid the stench. The second one will be put in the ground in the same way. However, after two months, the skeletons of the two whales will be collected and will be used in various forms of research.
Md Ashraful Haque, a senior scientific officer at the Marine Fisheries Research and Technology Center in Cox's Bazar, said: “There are several species of whales in the sea. But it has not yet been possible to identify the species of these two floating whales. It is necessary to collect samples and do research.”
Two similar whales washed up on Cox's Bazar beaches in 1996 and 2006.