What was found in the stomach of a killer whale after it was washed ashore has kept people wondering what might have happened as some experts suggest it might have contributed to its death.
What was found inside the dead Orca’s stomach came as a surprise
A killer whale also called Orca that was found dead on a holiday spot in South Africa when it was washed at Plettenberg Bay on South Africa’s Western Cape the week before Christmas has given animal lovers the shock of their lives after the body of the dead fish was sliced open by experts. What they found inside the stomach of the fish can only be described as shocking!
But when conservation and wildlife experts got a closer look at the animal recovered on December 21, they found that her last few days of desperate life had forced her to dine on the only ‘food’ she could find in the holiday spot – rubbish.
The ripped stomach of the tragic Orca contained Used yoghurt pots, old shoe soles and ripped food wrappers and many other human waste. Plett Stranding Network co-ordinator Dr Gwenith Penry wrote on her Facebook page that the horrible discovery inside the 5.7m whale was alongside little actual food – and there’s a chance the human waste could have contributed to her death.
She pointed out that organ and blood samples will be analysed in due course to test for toxicology, pathology and microplastics, but that in the mean time, we can get a very good idea of the condition of the animal and what it was doing in the days leading up to it stranding by examining the stomach contents.
She revealed: “This 5.7m female was starving! She had very little real food in her stomach and the stomach lining was disintegrating.
“We found several large pieces of plastic (yoghurt pots, shoe sole, food wrappers), seagrass and a lot of tubed organisms (yet to be identified). All of this suggests that she was trying to feed in the shallow areas of our bay.”
Killer whales off South Africa typically only feed on mammals – seals, dolphins – or large fish and squid.
“It is likely that this individual became ill and too weak to hunt with the rest of her pod so moved inshore and tried to feed on what was available and easy to find.”
The initial dissection of the orca was performed at a nearby rubbish dump, reports News24 , as the volunteers had no official premises in which to conduct the procedure once the National Sea Rescue Institute had removed it from its resting spot.