Saturday, 23 June, 2018

Whale Dies After Swallowing 80 Plastic Bags Off Southern Thailand

Sandra Phillips | 05 June, 2018, 21:46

Rescuers tried for five days to keep it alive but couldn't save it. An autopsy found another 80 bags and other plastic items weighing 8kg in its stomach.

A marine biologist and a lecturer at Kasetsart University, Thon Thamrongnawasawat said that the whale wasn't able to eat nutritional food due to the presence of bags in its stomach.

World Oceans Day is June 8 and the folks who worked to save this pilot whale plan to use its death to raise more awareness of what we're doing to our oceans. Thailand is one of the world's largest consumers of plastic bags.

'If you have 80 plastic bags in your stomach, you die, ' he said.

Photos posted on the Facebook page for ThaiWhales, a local conservation group, showed volunteers trying to help the sick whale, shading it with an umbrella and attempting to give it medicine and fluids.

Jatuporn Buruspat, head of the department, said the whale probably thought the floating plastic bags were food.

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Dr. Thon said he was urging the Thai government to do the same.

Countries including the United Kingdom and India are banning straws and single-use bags, and forcing supermarkets to impose levies on plastic bags.

The theme this year is "Beating Plastic Pollution".

Besides killing marine life, plastic waste clogs waterways, and has been blamed for deadly floods in cities such as Mumbai to Manila.

He said that at least 300 marine animals die in Thai waters each year after eating plastic.

In all, more than 17lb of plastic was pulled from inside the whale, indicating how feeding would have become impossible as it languished in a canal on the Thai-Malaysian border.

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