A dead sperm whale stranded on Kapota Island, Wakatobi, SE Sulawesi, with 5.9 kg of plastic debris found in its stomach. The dominant debris are raffia and plastic cups. Photo: Mr. Alfi / AKKP-KKP

By Jessica Taylor
19 November 2018

(Evening Standard) – Distressing photos have emerged online of a beached whale in Indonesia that was found to have almost six kilograms of plastic in its stomach.

The sperm whale washed up on the shore of Kapota Island, in the Wakatobi Archipelago of Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia on Monday, 19 November 2018.

The grim discovery was posted online by Whale Stranding Indonesia, an organisation that tracks incidents of mammals washing up onshore in the region of Indonesia.

Photos posted on the organisation's Facebook page show an array of plastic items that were present in what was thought to be the whale's stomach.

However, it admits that decomposition of the body means it is uncertain that the organ cut open was in fact the stomach.

According to the Facebook page: "soft plastic, hard plastic, plastic bags, plastic cups, bottled drinks, sandals and raffia" were among the items that spilled out of the stomach when it was cut.

In the photos, single-use plastic cups can be seen amongst the items, as well as what appears to be a large, jagged shard of a plastic plate. [more]

Indonesian whale washes up on shore with six kilos of plastic in its stomach

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