WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A rough-toothed dolphin was found stranded in Fort Myers Beach on Tuesday.
- Researchers discovered two plastic bags containing garbage along with a shredded piece of balloon in its stomach.
- The scientists warned that the incident ‘highlights the need to reduce single use plastic and to not release balloons into the environment.’
Researchers were faced with a tragic incident last week as a rough-toothed dolphin stranded on a Florida beach was found with trash inside its belly.
The biologists of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission extracted two plastic bags containing garbage along with a shredded piece of a balloon from the stomach of the rare deep-water mammal.
The researchers clarified in a Facebook post that the exact cause of stranding and death is yet to be determined. The trash inside the dolphin’s belly was indeed “a significant finding, [but] there are many additional factors to consider, such as underlying illness, disease and maternal separation.”
Nevertheless, the tragic incident “highlights the need to reduce single use plastic and to not release balloons into the environment.”
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration stated that the rough-toothed dolphins are protected under the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act. The mammals, who can live for more than 36 years, mostly consume fish and squid. They can be found in tropical climates across the world.
The Fort Myers News-Press reported that the dolphin was found stranded in Fort Myers Beach on Tuesday. Since the dolphin was in poor health and emaciated, it had to be euthanized on site.
Florida Fish and Wildlife advised everyone who would come across stranded marine mammals to contact Wildlife Alert at 888-404-3922.
They additionally warned everyone to avoid pushing the stranded creatures back into the water “as it can delay examination and treatment and often results in the animal re-stranding in worse condition.”
Source: FOX News