Iqbal recording some data after checking the carcass of the whale which was washed ashore at Kampung Masjid, Kuala Baram.

Malaysia: Villagers find two whales washed ashore
By Norni Mahadi, 25th December 2015;

Two whales of the Pygmy Sperm Whale (Kogia breviceps) species were found washed ashore at Kampung Masjid, a fishing village in Kuala Baram, yesterday.

According to village head Yusree Zainuzzaman, a fisherman had earlier asked for help from the villagers around 1pm to rescue a whale which was still alive.

He said they immediately pulled the mammal, a protected species, back to the sea.

A few minutes later, he said they found another whale from the same species, which was bigger than the first one, some 500 metres from the spot where the first one was found.

However, the whale had died, he added.

Malaysia Nature Society (MNS) Miri treasurer Iqbal Abdollah, when contacted by The Borneo Post, confirmed the case.

Iqbal, who is a member of Special Interest Group (SIG) in MNS which focuses on marine life, said the dead mammal was a female adult whale.

“The dead adult female whale was about 2.92 metres long,” he said, adding that he went to the scene for data recording.

As the first mammal appeared smaller than the dead one, he suspected they could be mother and baby.

“I couldn’t get the actual measure of the surviving whale as it had been released back to the sea before I reached the scene.”

“Based on the detail and the picture that the villager showed to me, it is estimated that the ‘baby whale’ could be about 1.8 metres long.”

He said Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) had been informed of the case.

Source: The Borneo Post

The baby whale that washed up dead on Kampung Sungai Labu shoreline Thursday morning.

Malaysia: Baby whale washes ashore near Kampung Sungaei Labu, Labuan
25th December 2015;

A dead look-alike baby Humpback Whale was washed ashore near the Kampung Sungai Labu shoreline Thursday morning.

Officials estimated the almost 20-foot whale to be over a year-old and had been dead when it was found lying on the beach.

Labuan Fisheries Department director Anuar Salam Sulaiman told Bernama the cause of the death was not clear and a report had been submitted to the fisheries headquarter in Putrajaya for a thorough investigation.

There were no signs of trauma, such as propeller marks. But the team from our headquarters will carry out investigations to find the cause of death.

Whether it was caught or trapped in a fishing net or hit by trawler, he said.

Anuar said during investigations, samples would be collected to determine its origin.

“It is tough to see. It is so young to die naturally. It is very surprising and very sad, he added.

Villagers found the whale at about 10am, which attracted many villagers to the beach and some even posed for pictures with the whale.

Anuar said the whale’s remains would be buried inland Friday at the Kampung Sungai Labu beach, away from the shoreline, so that it would not decompose quickly and give off unhealthy elements.

For the time being, while waiting for the autopsy and investigation teams to arrive, we must bury the whale. The remains will be exhumed for an autopsy later, he said.

Source: The Star

I’m not sure what the article means by "look-alike baby Humpback Whale” – after all, it looks nothing like a baleen whale. This is most likely one of the dolphins often known as ‘blackfish’; possibly a False Killer Whale (Pseudorca crassidens), Pygmy Killer Whale (Feresa attenuata), Melon-headed Whale (Peponocephala electra) or young Short-finned Pilot Whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus). It’s difficult to conclusively determine the identity of the carcass without more photos from other angles.

December is usually a bit of a slow month for finding dead birds in Singapore since it’s the lull period between the main migration waves, but we do receive the occasional reports of dead resident species as well, such as this Coppersmith Barbet (Psilopogon [formerly Megalaima] haemacephalus), which was found with a broken neck at the base of a condo block near Owen Road.

Source: David Tan Instagram