Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Dead Whale in Seattle

Yesterday, the fifth whale to die and wash up in Washington's Puget sound this year (fourth in the last two weeks) is drawing attention for what was in its stomach.

The "slightly emaciated" whale (not so unusual, they say), that washed up in West Seattle, had "more than 50 gallons of undigested stomach contents, including more than 20 plastic bags, small towels, surgical gloves, sweatpants, duct tape, pieces of plastic and a golf ball", according to John Calambokidis of the Olympia-based Cascadia Research Collective.

Gray whales are known to do a bit of "bottom feeding" and can pick up rocks, and other chunks of non-food items in a scoop to seek food, but the impact of man's practices - and products - on the environment is clearly played out in this case.

No one is able to tell at this point if these man-made objects had any play in the whale's death.

A few articles on the matter:

Seattle Times article.

Tacoma News Tribune article.

MSNBC article (gruesome photo warning).