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A Whale Was Found With Over 200 Pounds of Trash in Its Stomach

The dead sperm whale was found with a mass in its stomach that included fishing nets, rope, bags, gloves, and plastic cups.

Scottish Marine Animal Strandings Scheme

A whale was found dead on a Scotland beach with a 220-pound “litter ball” lodged in its stomach. 

The dead sperm whale was found on Seilebost beach on the Isle of Harris in Scotland on Thursday, with a mass in its stomach that included fishing nets, rope, bags, gloves, and plastic cups. Whale experts say it’s not clear if the pollution in its stomach was the cause of death. 

The Scottish Marine Animal Strandings Scheme organization performed a necropsy on the whale and posted the findings on their Facebook page. 

“The animal wasn’t in particularly poor condition, and whilst it is certainly plausible that this amount of debris was a factor in its live stranding, we actually couldn’t find evidence that this had impacted or obstructed the intestines,” the organization said in the post. “This amount of plastic in the stomach is nonetheless horrific, must have compromised digestion, and serves to demonstrate, yet again, the hazards that marine litter and lost or discarded fishing gear can cause to marine life.”

This isn’t the first whale to be found with trash and plastic inside of its stomach. In fact, the disturbing trend seems to be on the rise with more discoveries of marine life sadly having garbage-filled insides. 

Locals were horrified by the discovery of the sperm whale on the Scotland shore. 

“It was desperately sad, especially when you saw the fishing nets and debris that came out of its stomach,” Dan Parry told BBC. “We walk on these beaches nearly every day and I always take a bag to pick up litter, most of which is fishing-related. This stuff could have easily been netting or the like lost in a storm, we just don't know, but it does show the scale of the problem we have with marine pollution.”

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