Pregnant Sperm Whale Ingested 49 Lbs Of Plastic Before Washing Ashore In Italy

A beached sperm whale on a Norfolk beach.Wikimedia Commons/CC0 1.0

“We've used the 'comfort' of disposable objects in a lighthearted way...and now we are paying the consequences.”

The body of a deceased sperm whale washed up on a coast in Sardinia, Italy last week with 49 pounds of plastic in its body, CNN reports. According to new reports from Italy’s environment minister and a marine life organization, the whale was carrying a dead fetus.

The whale was found with "garbage nets, lines, tubes, the bag of a washing machine liquid still identifiable, with brand and barcode...and other objects no longer identifiable,” Luca Bittau, president of the SeaMe group, said in a statement to CNN. "She was pregnant and had almost certainly aborted before (she) beached," he said. "The fetus was in an advanced state of composition.”

The animal measured 26 feet long and washed up in the tourist resort of Porto Cervo. The cause of death has not yet been determined, but Bittau said that veterinarians in Padua, northern Italy, will carry out histological and toxicological examinations.

Italian environment minister took to Facebook in the wake of the news: "Are there still people who say these are not important problems? For me they are, and they are priorities.

"We've used the 'comfort' of disposable objects in a lighthearted way in the past years and now we are paying the consequences. Indeed the animals, above all, are the ones paying them," he wrote.

Read the full story here.

Comments (1)
No. 1-1

Let's keep in mind where plastic originates.