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Wed Dec 4, 2019, 03:19 AM

Beached sperm whale found with 220 pounds of trash in his stomach

Beached sperm whale found with 220 pounds of trash in his stomach
By Sophie Lewis
December 3, 2019 / 8:25 PM


A sperm whale that washed up on a beach was found with 220 pounds of plastic trash in his stomach. The whale beached itself and died on a northern Scottish island last Thursday, according to local researchers, who found the carcass several days later.

Marine researchers who conducted a necropsy on the young marine mammal found nets, cups, bags, rope, packing straps, tubing and other debris inside his stomach. They called the discovery on Luskentyre Beach "shameful."

"All this material was in a huge ball in the stomach and some of it it looked like it had been there for some time," the Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme (SMASS), which performed the necropsy, wrote on Facebook. When the whale was cut open, "most of the guts blew out of the side" due to the body decomposing quickly.

Exploding sperm whalePosted by Scottish Marine Animal Strandings Scheme on Sunday, December 1, 2019

Researchers said they did not find conclusive evidence that the whale's intestines were impacted or obstructed by the debris, so it's unclear whether the stranding was a direct result of the plastic buildup.

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