Research scholars recently made a very sad discovery in the stomach of a dolphin found stranded on a Florida beach last week. a shredded piece of a balloon and two plastic bags were unearthed in the belly of the rare deep-water mammal by biologists & the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Fort Myers Beach found the rough-toothed dolphin on Tuesday. Researchers stated the garbage inside of the dolphin’s stomach was “a significant finding, there are many additional factors to consider, such as underlying illness, disease, and maternal separation, before a final cause of stranding and death for the dolphin can be determined.”
The whole situation “highlights the need to reduce single-use plastic and to not release balloons into the environment.”
Rough-tooth dolphins are protected under the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act and live throughout the world in tropical climates, as per the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The mammal can live for more than 36 years. Their natural diet is squid and fish.
The Fort Myers News-Press reported the dolphin found on Tuesday was emaciated and in poor health and was euthanized on site.