The rotting 9.5m carcass was found in an Indonesian marine national park

A dead sperm whale has washed ashore on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi with nearly 6kg of plastic waste in its stomach.

The whale was discovered by locals in the Wakatobi Islands - a marine national park, hugely popular with divers for its pristine waters, marine diversity and huge barrier reef.

The rotting carcass of the 9.5m (31ft) mammal was found on the island of Kapota by locals on Monday.

Following an autopsy, experts found 5.9kg of plastic waste in its stomach - including plastic cups, bottles, bags, flip flops and over 1,000 other assorted pieces of plastic.

Dwi Suprapti, a marine species conservation coordinator at WWF Indonesia told the Associated Press that although experts were unable to determine the exact cause of death, "the facts that we see are truly awful."

She said experts could not say for certain that the plastic had caused the death because of the advanced state of decay of the carcass.

A recent environmental report found that Indonesia is the second largest plastic polluter in the world, behind China.

 

The Indonesian Government has pledged to cut the country's use of plastic by 70% by 2025.