Sperm Whale Found Dead With 64 Pounds Of Trash In Its Digestive System

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A young sperm whale died after swallowing 64 pounds of plastic waste, including plastic bags, fishing nets, ropes and a drum.

 

Ocean pollution generated by humans seems to get worse day by day and mammals are dying because of trash, oil, carbon emissions and plastic pollution in the ocean — all thanks to human negligence.

In an unfortunate display of how polluted oceans kill marine lives, a young sperm whale was discovered dead on the coast of southern Spain after ingesting a huge amount of trash, authorities revealed. The sea mammal had swallowed 64 pounds of plastic.

An autopsy led investigators to find plastic bags, fishing nets, ropes and even a drum inside the whale’s stomach and intestines. The autopsy determined the whale tragically died after being unable to digest or dislodge the trash from its abdomen.

The whale reportedly died due to peritonitis, a condition where there is an inflammation of the tissues lining the inner abdominal wall. Such a condition is caused in humans by a bacteria or fungi infection.

The root cause of those infections is sometimes an injury to the abdominal wall — in the case of the whale, it happened from ingesting giant, heavy pieces of plastic.

According to a statement released by the regional government, the young mammal, which was around 10 meters (33 feet) long and weighed more than six tons, was discovered from Cabo de Palos in the southeast Murcia region in the month of February. 

After the animal’s death, Murcia’s regional government and the European Environmental Association and the European Fund for Regional Development decided to launch an awareness campaign against discarding plastic waste in the sea.

“Many animals get trapped in the rubbish or ingest great quantities of plastic which end up causing their death,” said Consuelo Rosauro, director-general for the natural environment in the region. “Presence of plastics in seas and oceans is one of the biggest threats to the conservation of wildlife in the world,” she added.

Meanwhile people on social media expressed their sadness over the whale’s death.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every year, almost 19 billion pounds of plastic waste fills up the world’s oceans.

Sperm Whale

In 2017, a research suggested that by 2050, the weight of plastic trash in the oceans will exceed the combined weight of all its fish. The plastic problem is massive; however, simple steps can be taken by us to avoid treating the ocean like a dump. Reducing use of straws, disposable plastic bags and plastic bottles can have a positive impact on the ocean.

Thumbnail/Banner Image: Reuters, Andrew Yates 

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