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Friday 1 December 2023 Dublin: 0°C
Wikicommons Short beak common dolphin

Cut up your six pack rings warns IWDG after dolphin death in Cork

A piece of plastic debris wrapped around its beak preventing it from feeding.

A SHORT BEAK common dolphin died in Cork during the week after a piece of plastic debris wrapped around its beak preventing it from feeding.

Speaking to, Pádraig Whooley from the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group in Cork, said that the death of this dolphin was “directly to the human use of plastics” adding that had someone not been so “lazy as to discard a piece of plastic in the sea, then the dolphin could still be alive today”.

“I spoke to the vet Tim O’Leary who attended to the dolphin. He said it was quite distressing,” he said.


“What people need to understand is that plastics are detrimental to all wildlife, including dolphins, like the one that died this week. It takes hundreds of thousands of years for this plastic to break down, so it is just floating there in our oceans and seas,” said Whooley.

He explained that the likes of six pack rings should be cut up before disposal so as to prevent any wildlife getting caught in the rings.

1280px-Six_pack_rings Six pack plastic ring holder.

“I do it automatically now and I was just explaining to my young child about why we must do this. Everyone needs to get into this habit,” said Whooley.

“Every single piece of plastic ever made in the history of plastic manufacturing still exists today,” he maintained.


“This piece of plastic would have made it impossible for the dolphin to feed and very quickly it would have become dehydrated. Essentially his jaw was stapled shut. It is most likely that that is what the dolphin died of,” explained Whooley, who said dolphins get their fluids from ingesting fish.

“The vet gave the dolphin injections to try and boost the animal but it was clear that the dolphin was going to expire, which it did a short time later,” he said.

He urged anyone that came across a stranded whale or dolphin to get in touch with the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group.

Read: There’s plenty of Humpbacks out there, but this year’s Whale Watch day was a bit of a washout…>

Read: Hero dolphins swim with a man to protect him from sharks>

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