A heartbreaking photo of a dead dolphin and what was found inside its stomach has been shared on social media.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) shared the image, along with a photo of the 60cm plastic hose that was discovered inside the dolphin, as a sombre reminder of the impact of rubbish in our oceans.
The two-metre long male dolphin washed up on Fort Myers Beach on the southwest Florida coast about two weeks ago and was bought to biologists at the FWC to complete a necropsy.
A 60cm long hose was found in the oesophagus and fore-stomach of the two-metre long mammal.
The tragic find is becoming too common in the coastal area.
“This is the second stranded dolphin in one month’s time from this region that had ingested plastic - reminding us again to look closely at our habits,” the FWC posted.
People are outraged over the photos, calling for more to be done to clean up the oceans and prevent more rubbish ending up inside marine life.
“The human race need to do more to help with other living beings,” one person said.
“I’m in tears,” said another.
The FWC urged the public to take responsibility for the beaches they love.
“Your actions can make a difference - secure and properly dispose of trash, take part in coastal cleanups and share information on how to reduce marine debris with others,” they posted.
One person suggested the hose may have accidentally fallen off a boat, a person responded “unfortunate unintended consequences”.
The FWC added what to do if the public spotted a beached animal.
“Please don't push the animal back into the water as it can delay examination and treatment and often results in the animal re-stranding in worse condition.”