A May 17 post on the FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute Facebook page said a 7-foot male dolphin was recovered from Fort Myers Beach in Big Carlos Pass.
During a necropsy, biologists found a 24-inch hose in the esophagus and forestomach of the animal.
FWC said this is the second stranded dolphin in a month from this region that had ingested plastic.
Experts say “although this is a significant finding, there are many additional factors to consider before a final cause of stranding and death for the dolphin can be determined.”
Samples collected during necropsy will be sent for analysis to help with this determination.
FWC also issued a reminder to the public that marine mammals strand themselves for a reason, often because they are sick or injured.
Call FWC’s Wildlife Alert at 888-404-3922 to allow trained experts to respond and don’t push the animal back into the water.
Young Sperm Whale Found Dead
A sperm whale was found dead on an Italian beach with plastic in its stomach.
The carcass of the young animal—estimated to be seven years old—washed up on the beach at Cefalu, a popular tourist destination in Sicily, on May 17.
Grim images posted Facebook show the dead whale lying on the beach, its stomach full of plastic bags and other plastic objects.
Experts performed a necropsy on the whale on the beach on Sunday. Carmelo Isgro, who works at the University of Messina’s natural history museum and was involved in the procedure, shared graphic videos and images on Facebook.
One video shows the moment scientists opened the whale’s stomach and found it full of plastic bags.
“These are the squid the whale ate, and this is all plastic,” Isgro says in the video.
In another video, Isgro is seen putting the plastic he recovered from the whale’s body in a recycling bin. “It’s impressive. Unbelievable,” he says in the video.
Isgro told CNN there were “several kilograms worth of plastic” inside the whale’s stomach.
“The plastic probably created a block that didn’t let the food in,” he said. “That’s very likely to be the cause of death. We have not found signs that could indicate another possible reason.”
He added that the whale was a female and she was so young that “her teeth haven’t come out yet.”
“I’m still shocked because her belly was completely full, swollen with plastic,” Isgro said.
Sperm whales usually live for 70-80 years, he said.
From 2009 to 2016, 13 sperm whales washed up dead along the Italian coast.
— Oceana (@oceana) May 9, 2019