MUD KEYS, Fla. (WFLA) — Biologists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said the death of a beached whale in the Florida Keys was likely caused by a mass of marine debris in it’s stomach.
FWC performed a necropsy on the 47-foot whale Wednesday and found a mass of intertwined line, net pieces, and plastic bag type material in it’s stomach.
According to a Facebook post from the FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, the debris likely prevented the whale from eating properly, which led to it’s emaciated condition.
The cause of death still hasn’t been determined. Biologists still need to run more tests on tissue collected during the necropsy.
The debris from the whales stomach will also be analyzed to find what type of material it is and where it could have come from.
The FWC wants remind people that if they see a stranded marine mammal on the beach, do not push it back in the water, as most animals strand themselves because they are injured.
Anyone who sees a stranded marine mammal should call the FWC Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922 or the Southeast Region Stranding Network at 1-877-942-5343.