Researchers say there was a ‘upsetting’ discovery in the belly of a whale on a Nova Scotia beach

A sperm whale washed up on a Nova Scotia beach. Upon closer inspection, it was slowly dying. Eating “garbage” and dying a painful death.

“The findings were very upsetting. The death of this 45 (ft) male was attributed to over-ingestion of fishing gear that led to emaciation and subsequent stranding,” Marine Animal Response Association said Nov. 17. reported to

“What was shocking was that there were 330 (pounds) of gear compressed in the animal’s stomach!”

The whale was found stranded off the coast of Canada on November 4th. Western Cape Breton Island, Researchers say it “came ashore alive and then died in the previous week.”

photo of fishing gear posted on social media, Revealed it was a knee-high mound of nets, ropes and fishing line. The knot caused a huge blockage in the whale’s digestive system, experts say.

“At this time, we do not know the type or origin of the gear or where and when animals ingested it,” the association wrote.

“What we do know for sure is that it slowly starved animals to death. It’s a stark reminder of the serious problem with marine litter and other plastics.”

Tonya Wimmer, the association’s executive director, says it’s easy for sperm whales to ingest litter. “They use their mouths like vacuum cleaners.” While feeding, CTV News Atlantic reported.

“It was an incredibly terrifying and traumatic way for this animal to die slowly,” she told the network.

Sperm whales live up to 60 years, endangered and protected According to NOAA Fisheries. A male she can reach 45 tons and 52 feet, NOAA Fisheries says.

NOAA says fishing gear entanglement and vessel collisions are among the biggest threats they face.

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