A dolphin that washed up on a Florida beach was found with a shower hose inside of its stomach.
On Friday, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission announced on Facebook that they had found a seven-foot-long male dolphin washed up on Fort Myers Beach. The necropsy found a two-foot-long hose in the stomach of the animal.
“This is the second stranded dolphin in one month’s time from this region that had ingested plastic — reminding us again to look closely at our habits,” the post read. “Your actions can make a difference — secure and properly dispose of trash, take part in coastal cleanups and share information on how to reduce marine debris with others.”
The FWC noted that there are “many additional factors to consider” before the exact cause of death can be determined.
“Please remember that marine mammals strand for a reason, often the animals are sick or injured,” the post said. “Please don’t push the animal back into the water as it can delay examination and treatment and often results in the animal re-stranding in worse condition.”
The post contained a photo of the dolphin, as well as a photo of the hose that had been found inside of its stomach.
In late April, the FWC announced that they had found a female dolphin on Fort Myers Beach with two plastic bags and a piece of a balloon in its stomach.
“This finding highlights the need to reduce single-use plastic and to not release balloons into the environment,” the announcement read.
According to advocacy group Ocean Conservancy, 8 million metric tons of plastic enter the oceans each year, adding to the 150 million metric tons that are already there. Ocean animals who ingest the plastic thinking it is food can develop life-threatening health problems.
The group estimates that plastic waste affects almost 700 species in the ocean.