MANILA, Philippines – Environmentalists suspect that a metal bottle cap found inside a dolphin’s lung may have killed the sea mammal while off the shores of Samal City in Mindanao.
The dolphin, identified by bone collector Darrell Blatchley as a long-finned pilot whale, was found dead on the shores of Barangay Pangubatan over the weekend.
The dolphin’s remains were already being burned by the residents out of fear for their health, but Blatchley and fisheries officer Timothy Dollano were able to prevent this having arrived just in time at the island city.
The long-finned pilot whale, one of the largest species of dolphins, was 13 feet long and had a weight of about 600 kilograms (1,322 pounds).
A necropsy revealed that a metal bottle cap found inside the dolphin’s lungs may have killed the sea mammal.
"The cause of death of the pilot whale was a bottle cap either from a beer bottle or [softdrinks]. The [dolphin] ingested it into its lungs and blocked up the lungs,” Blatchley said.
No external wound was found in the dolphin’s body.
Blatchley, meanwhile, said he will collect the dolphin’s bone to display it in his museum, which houses bones of some 500 species. – report from Hernel Tocmo, ABS-CBN News Davao