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GRAPHIC: Dead whale found with 13 pounds of plastic in its stomach

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Posted at 2:38 PM, Nov 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-20 15:38:20-05

KAPOTA ISLAND, Indonesia (CNN) - A sperm whale found dead on an Indonesian beach had more than a thousand pieces of plastic waste in its stomach according to the wildlife conservation group World Wildlife Fund’s social media pages.

The whale's rotten carcass washed up Sunday in Wakatobi National Park.

Researchers from WWF and the park's conservation academy looked inside the animal's stomach and found 13 pounds of plastic cups, bags, bottles and other pieces of plastic, including a pair of flip-flops.

They have not yet determined if that contributed to the whale's death.

Plastic pollution is a huge problem for the world’s oceans. By 2050, the amount of plastics in the oceans could outweigh fish, according to a 2016 report from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

Copyright 2018 CNN. All rights reserved. Raycom News Network contributed to this report.