Dead whale had 220 lbs. of trash in its stom­ach

USA TODAY International Edition - - FRONT PAGE - Joshua Bote Con­tribut­ing: Ash­ley May, USA TO­DAY

A sperm whale that died af­ter be­ing stranded on a Scot­tish is­land was found to have 220 pounds of trash in its stom­ach.

The whale was nearly 46 feet long and weighed around 26 tons – 52,000 pounds – ac­cord­ing to Scot­tish Marine An­i­mal Strand­ings Scheme ( SMASS), a Scot­tish or­ga­ni­za­tion that in­ves­ti­gates stranded marine an­i­mals.

It washed up on the shore of Seile­bost Beach in Scot­land’s Isle of Har­ris, ac­cord­ing to Dan Parry.

He lives in Lusken­tyre, Scot­land, and is an ad­min­is­tra­tor of a Face­book page to keep the nearby Lusken­tyre Beach clean.

Fish­ing nets, bun­dles of rope, plas­tic cups, plas­tic bags and other garbage were found in the whale’s stom­ach, ac­cord­ing to a necropsy done by SMASS.

“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,” they wrote on a Face­book post pub­lished Sun­day.

They wrote that the whale “wasn’t in par­tic­u­larly poor con­di­tion,” and they couldn’t confirm that the garbage con­trib­uted to its strand­ing or star­va­tion.

SMASS wrote that it is un­clear what re­sulted in the ex­cess of de­bris in the whale’s stom­ach.

They added that the dis­cov­ery “serves to demon­strate, yet again, the haz­ards that marine lit­ter and lost or dis­carded fishing gear can cause to marine life.”


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