- A pilot whale died in Thailand after swallowing 80 plastic bags weighing nearly 18 lbs (8 kg).
- The vet who carried out the autopsy said it was one of the worst cases she’d ever seen, with plastic bags coming from several countries.
- Nearly 300 marine animals including pilot whales, sea turtles and dolphins, are killed each year in Thailand from accidental plastic consumption.
A pilot whale died off the coast of Thailand after swallowing 80 plastic bags weighing nearly 18 lbs (8 kg).
Thailand’s Department of Marine and Coastal Resources posted on its website on Saturday that the whale was discovered in a canal in the southern Songkhla Province last week and was taken in for veterinary treatment.
As the team attempted to treat the injured whale over several days, it vomited up several plastic bags before eventually dying. An autopsy revealed it had 80 plastic bags clogging up its stomach.
The department said the total weight of all the plastics found in the animal was 18 lbs (8 kg). Photos posted by the group reveal tens of plastic bags that remained undigested throughout the whale’s body.
(Warning: Some may find the images below disturbing)
Watchara Sakornwimon, the vet who carried out the autopsy, told Sky News that the case was one of the worst she’d seen.
She added that the bags found inside the whales stomach were from several countries.
Thon Thamrongnawasawat, a marine biologist and lecturer at Kasetsart University, also told AFP that Thailand is one of the largest users of plastic bags in the world. Nearly 300 marine animals including pilot whales, sea turtles and dolphins, are killed each year in Thailand from plastic consumption, he said.
“It’s a huge problem,” he said. “If you have 80 plastic bags in your stomach, you die.”
Nearly 9 million tons of plastic leak into oceans each year, according to the United Nations Environment Program.