The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said a bottlenose dolphin that washed ashore this month in Southwest Florida was found with a large hose in its body.
A May 17 post on the FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute Facebook page said a 7-foot male dolphin was recovered from Fort Myers Beach in Big Carlos Pass.
During a necropsy, biologists found a 24-inch hose in the esophagus and forestomach of the animal.
FWC said this is the second stranded dolphin in a month from this region that had ingested plastic.
Experts say “although this is a significant finding, there are many additional factors to consider before a final cause of stranding and death for the dolphin can be determined.”
Samples collected during necropsy will be sent for analysis to help with this determination.
FWC also issued an reminder to the public that marine mammals strand themselves for a reason, often because they are sick or injured.
Call FWC’s Wildlife Alert at 888-404-3922 to allow trained experts to respond and don’t push the animal back into the water.