A team from Wakatobi National Park found on Monday about 5.9 kilograms of garbage inside the stomach of a dead whale that had beached on Kapota Island, Southeast Sulawesi.
The team, assisted by researchers from the Academy of Marine and Fisheries Community in Wakatobi, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and locals, identified the animal as a sperm whale. It measured 9.5 meters in length and 4.37 wide, according to a release from the Environment and Forestry Ministry made available on Tuesday.
The head of the park, Heri Santoso, said when his team found the whale on Sunday, it had already begun to decompose.
A tweet from the WWF explained that due to its condition, the team could not confirm whether the garbage had been the cause of the whale’s death.
Sobat, seekor Paus Sperma (Physeter macrocephalus) terdampar di Pulau Kapota, Wakatobi dlm kondisi sdh membusuk (18/11). Kondisi paus saat ditemukan tdk baik & bagian tubuhnya sdh tdk lengkap. Pihak berwenang tdk bisa melakukan nekropsi u/ mengetahui penyebab kematian paus tsb. pic.twitter.com/O1ywAr7hbD
— WWF-Indonesia (@WWF_ID) 19 November 2018
Researchers opened the animal’s stomach and found 115 plastic cups (750 grams), 19 hard plastic pieces (140 grams), four plastic bottles (150 grams), 25 plastic bags (260 grams), six wood splinters (740 grams), two rubber sandals (270 grams), one nylon sack (200 grams) and more than 1,000 pieces of plastic rope (3,260 grams). The total weight of the wet garbage was 5.9 kilograms.
A picture from WWF of the stomach’s content showed that the whale had swallowed what looked like a piece of melamine dining plate.
Source: Jakarta Post
Photo: Alfi/AKKP Wakatobi/Mongabay Indonesia