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A dead whale that washed ashore in eastern Indonesia had a large lump of plastic waste in its stomach, including drinking cups, bottles and flip-flops, a park official said Tuesday, causing concern among environmentalists and government officials in one of the world's largest plastic-polluting countries.
Rescuers from Wakatobi National Park found the rotting carcass of the 9.5-meter (31-foot) sperm whale late Monday near the park in Southeast Sulawesi province after hearing that villagers were beginning to butcher the rotting carcass, park chief Heri Santoso said.
Santoso - Researchers - Conservation - Group - WWF
Santoso said researchers from wildlife conservation group WWF and the park's conservation academy found about 5.9 kilograms (13 pounds) of plastic waste in the animal's stomach containing 115 plastic cups, four plastic bottles, 25 plastic bags, 2 flip-flops, a nylon sack and more than 1,000 other assorted pieces of plastic.
"Although we have not been able to deduce the cause of death, the facts that we see are truly awful," said Dwi Suprapti, a marine species conservation coordinator at WWF Indonesia.
Plastic - Whale - Death - Animal - State
She said it was not possible to determine if the plastic had caused the whale's death because of the animal's advanced state of decay.
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