Business Insider Edition

A desperately thin whale washed up dead on a beach

Alexandra Ma , Business Insider US
 Apr 13, 2018, 01:57 PM

A sperm whale washed up on a beach in southeastern Spain with 29 kg of rubbish in its digestive system.

  • A dead sperm whale was found on a beach in southern Spain earlier this year.
  • Scientists running tests on its body found 29kg of trash made by humans in its digestive system.
  • The waste included plastic bags, cans, and netting.
  • The trash is likely what killed the whale, which died from a digestive infection.

A sperm whale found dead on a Spanish beach had 29 kilograms of rubbish in its stomach, which almost certainly killed it.

The young mammal was found dead at Cabo de Palos beach in Murcia, southeastern Spain, on February 27.

Autopsy results, which were released by regional authorities last week, found plastic bags, ropes, cans, and pieces of netting in its stomach and intestines.

The 10-meter long male sperm whale was unusually thin when it washed up in Spain earlier this year. Authorities said it weighed 6.5 tons, or 5,900 kg. Adult male sperm whales can weigh seven times that.

Scientists said it most likely died because of peritonitis, an abdominal inflammation caused by an infection or rupture of the stomach's inner lining.

Another possibility or a digestive failure stemming from the mammal's inability to remove the rubbish from its body. Either way, the made-made trash would have been the cause.

The photo below shows some of the rubbish found inside the whale:

29 kg of rubbish was found inside a sperm whale that was found dead in southeastern Spain in February.

Sperm whales are only supposed to eat squid. Spain considers it a vulnerable species.

According to EcoWatch, there were 50 million metric tonnes (55 tons, or 50,000 kg) of plastic in the world's oceans as of 2015.

This figure is likely to treble by 2025, a UK government report said last month.

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