A rare whale has washed up dead in Puerto Rico, and a biologist is blaming plastic bags for its demise.
Nilda Jimenez says that she conducted a necropsy of the Gervais beaked whale and found more than 10 pounds (4.5 kilos) of twisted plastic inside its stomach. The marine mammal specialist said Friday she has no doubt the plastic caused the death by preventing the whale from getting adequate nutrition.
The whale washed up on the southeastern coast of Puerto Rico near the town of Maunabo on Wednesday. But beaked whales are not typically seen around the U.S. island territory, so Jimenez suspects it died recently out in the ocean. The 15-foot (4.6-meter) female juvenile was emaciated and apparently hadn't eaten in many days.