Another dolphin was found with plastic in its stomach at Fort Myers Beach

Photo credits: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

For the second time within a month, ingested plastic was found inside a dolphin in Florida.

Florida Fish and Wildlife biologists said they received the necropsy results of a 7-foot male bottlenose dolphin found in Fort Myers Beach in Big Carlos Pass. Inside the dolphin they found a 24-inch plastic hose in its esophagus and stomach.

Last month, they said they found a stranded baby dolphin at Fort Myers Beach. It was a rough-toothed dolphin, which is typically found in deeper waters. It was found emaciated and had to be euthanized, biologists said. They said they found two plastic bags and a shredded balloon inside the young dolphin.

They said, in both cases, there are other factors that could have led to the stranding and death for the dolphins. Necropsy samples will still need to be further analyzed to find a final cause for both animals.

“This is the second stranded dolphin in one month’s time from this region that had ingested plastic - reminding us again to look closely at our habits,” according to an FWC Facebook post. “Your actions can make a difference - secure and properly dispose of trash, take part in coastal cleanups and share information on how to reduce marine debris with others.”

Anyone who encounters a stranded marine mammal are asked to call FWC’s Wildlife Alert at 888-404-3922. 

“Please remember that marine mammals strand for a reason, often the animals are sick or injured,” officials said in a statement. “Please don't push the animal back into the water as it can delay examination and treatment and often results in the animal re-stranding in worse condition.”