A 7-foot male bottlenose dolphin found dead at Fort Myers Beach two weeks ago had a two-foot rubber hose inside its body, officials say.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, a necropsy of the dolphin Friday turned up a hose with a nozzle on one end.
This is the second time in two months a dead dolphin was found on Fort Myers Beach with plastic in its stomach. In April, the autopsy of a stranded baby dolphin showed it had eaten a stomach-full of trash, including heaps of plastic and pieces of a balloon.
In a statement Friday, wildlife officials issued a reminder about the importance of properly disposing of plastic.
“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,” the statement said. “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.”
In a statement following the death of the dolphin in April, officials said it showed “the need to reduce single-use plastic and to not release balloons into the environment."
The St. Petersburg City Council voted in December to ban single-use plastic straws and styrofoam from the city’s businesses starting in 2020.
Starbucks, meanwhile, announced last July that it plans to eliminate plastic straws in the U.S. by next year and globally by 2020, just months after Seattle — where the coffee giant is headquartered — became the first U.S. city to ban plastic straws, spoons, forks and knives.