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Dolphin Washes Up After Eating Plastic Hose

It's the second time in a month trash was found in a postmortem exam
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted May 20, 2019 4:44 PM CDT
A dolphin near Panama City Beach, Florida.   (Getty/KuntalSaha)

(Newser) – A male bottlenose dolphin that stranded this month on a Florida beach had eaten a 2-foot plastic shower hose, including a nozzle and metal radiator clamp. The hose appears to be from a camping rig, the News-Press reports. A female rough-toothed dolphin calf that washed up last month in Fort Myers had ingested two plastic bags and a balloon fragment. The plastic was found in the dolphins during postmortem exams by Florida's Fish and Wildlife Research Institute. The institute said in a Facebook post that it can't say yet that the plastic lead to the deaths. Samples taken during the exams will be tested. But the post urged disposing of trash properly and participating in coastal cleanups.

Scientists estimate that 8 million metric tons of plastic—including food wrappers, grocery bags, beverage bottles, straws, and take-out containers—end up in oceans each year, per the National Ocean Service. That total weighs as much as 90 aircraft carriers. Ingestion by animals is just one way that plastics, which don't decompose, cause harm. (This dead whale had 88 pounds of plastic in its stomach.)

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