Dolphin stranded on Florida beach had stomach full of trash, wildlife officials say

A dolphin found stranded along a Florida beach had a stomach full of trash, including part of a rubber balloon and two plastic bags, wildlife officials said.

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Researchers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission found the trash while conducting a necropsy Thursday on the female rough toothed dolphin that was found stranded Tuesday on the beach.

"Although a significant finding, there are many additional factors to consider, such as underlying illness, disease and maternal separation," researchers said in a statement. "This finding highlights the need to reduce single use plastic and to not release balloons into the environment."

Samples collected during the necropsy will be tested to determine the animal’s cause of death.

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