FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. — Our oceans are not our trash cans. 

This warning -- and a bit of common sense -- comes after a 24-inch-long shower hose was found in the esophagus and forestomach of a 7-foot dolphin that washed ashore earlier this month.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute reported the dead animal was found at Fort Myers Beach's Big Carlos Pass.

Officials are not yet concluding the dolphin's cause of death was this big piece of plastic, but it's a significant finding, they said. A necropsy will be performed to figure the exact cause.

It is the second stranded dolphin found within the past month that ingested plastic. The Naples Daily News reports a female dolphin calf that washed up on the beach had two plastic bags and a balloon fragment in her stomach. People are asked to take care of their property and properly dispose of their trash.

Although it might be tempting to try and help an animal in need, don't: Call the FWC's Wildlife Alert line at 88-404-3922 to let a trained expert respond.

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