Whale dies after swallowing 80 plastic bags
Monday, June 4, 2018, 12:08 PM - 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, marine officials said on Sunday.
The pilot whale was discovered on Monday in a canal in the southern province of Songkhla and received treatment from a team of veterinarians.
The whale spit out five plastic bags on Friday and later died, the Marine and Coastal Resources Department said on its website.
An autopsy found another 80 bags and other plastic items weighing eight kg in the whale's stomach.
Jatuporn Buruspat, head of the department, said they planned to raise public awareness of the problem on World Oceans Day on June 8 and call for reduced use of plastic.
Thais use huge numbers of plastic bags but authorities have launched campaigns to try to encourage people to use fewer and to introduce reusable bags.
A Thai marine official said the pilot whale, which mostly feeds on squid, probably thought the floating bags were food.
Thai people use huge numbers of plastic bags and authorities there have introduced campaigns to encourage people to cut back or introduce reusable bags.
And the death of this whale also comes just before the UN's World Environment Day on the June 5.
The theme this year is "Beating Plastic Pollution". This death serving as a symbol, perhaps, of the scale of that challenge.