Robeson County, NC - (NBC) - Biologists who examined a stranded gray whale that died on a West Seattle, WA, beach say it had a large amount of garbage in its stomach.
The debris ranged from a pair of sweat pants to a golf ball.
Scientists say most of the whale's stomach contents were algae, typical of the bottom-feeding mammals, but they say a surprising amount of human debris was found. In addition to the pants and golf ball, there were more than 20 plastic bags, small towels, duct tape and surgical gloves.
The 37-foot whale became stranded last Wednesday.
Biologists took a large number of samples, but say the results from the examination won't be known for weeks or months.
Research biologist John Calambokidis says all the debris can at least serve as a reminder of our impact on the Puget Sound.
"Even with all our awareness and attempts to improve the Sound, there is still quite a legacy of our past behavior and current behavior that still exists down there on the bottom," said Calambokidis.