Monday, 25 June, 2018

Plastic peril: Whale dies after swallowing 80 shopping bags

The whale swallowed 80 plastic bags Image Plastic bags taken from the whale's stomach are piled together
Elijah Vega | 05 June, 2018, 06:24

After the whale's death, veterinarians performed an autopsy and removed more than 80 plastic bags from the whale's stomach.

A team of vets tried to "help stabilise" the small male pilot whale after it was discovered on Monday barely alive in a canal near the Malaysian border, the department said.

The whale was nursed through the week but it died on Friday.

The department's chief theorized that the whale had mistaken the plastic bags for food, but after eating them had become "sick and unable to hunt for food", Reuters reports.

The whale vomited up five bags during the rescue attempt before it died, the department said.

'If you have 80 plastic bags in your stomach, you die, ' he said. It is thought that the whale had probably mistaken the bags for food and eaten them.

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"It's a huge problem", Thon Thamrongnawasawat, a marine biologist and lecturer at Kasetsart University, said.

Some 80 pieces of plastic rubbish weighing eight kg (17 lb) were found in the stomach of a whale that died in Thailand after a five-day effort to save it, a marine official said on Sunday.

The country is one of the world's largest consumers of plastic bags. 'We use a lot of plastic'. Kenya past year enacted the world's toughest law against plastic bags.

Trash in the ocean has affected other whale species.

It was unclear whether the whale was a short-finned or long-finned pilot whale, although short-finned pilots commonly traverse the warmer waters typical of Southeast Asia.

A 30ft sperm whale, weighing nearly seven tons, was found dead on a Spanish beach earlier this year with more than 60lb of rubbish trapped in its guts.

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