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Stranded whales buried

By Cang Wei and Song Wenwei (Chinadaily.com.cn)

16:02, March 19, 2012

The four sperm whales that died on Saturday have been buried deep under the beach in Yancheng, in East China's Jiangsu province, local authorities said.

Fast disposal of the whale carcasses was necessary because large crowds of people had rushed to the beach to witness the spectacle since Friday morning, when the whales were still alive and struggling.

Some local residents refused to leave the beach even after the tides rose, according to the city government. Some people had cut meat from the bodies on Sunday.

The whales were buried immediately after the Ministry of Agriculture's fishery command center approved the plan.

Samples of the whales were collected by animal experts, and the skeletons of the whales will be used for further research, said the local government.

The whales, including a female, were up to 18 meters long and ranged in weight from 22 to 44 tons.

It was China's first mass stranding of whales since six whales died in southeastern Fujian province in 1985.

You may contact the writers at cangwei@chinadaily.com.cn and songwenwei@chinadaily.com.cn

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