In Southern Thailand, close to the border with Malaysia, a small male pilot whale was discovered in a canal. It was barely alive, according to Thailand’s Department of Marine and Coastal Resources statement on social media.
The whale swallowed over 80 plastic bags. Even though rescuers tried to do their best in nursing it back to health, it finally died.
In Friday afternoon, a team of veterinarians arrived at the scene to ‘help stabilise its illness but finally the whale died.’
The whale was first seen on Monday. Then, people tried to keep the whale from drowning, using buoys. They also used an umbrella to keep it in the shade.
During the rescue attempt, the whale vomited five plastic bags. According to the officials, they fought to save its life for more than four days. However, it was all in vain.
80 Plastic Bags Equals 8 Kilograms of Plastic
After performing an autopsy, the officials stated that the mammal had 80 plastic bags inside its stomach. They weighed almost 8 kg (18 lb).
A marine biologist and lecturer at Kasetsart University, Thon Thamrongnawasawat said that the whale couldn’t get more food, as the plastic bags occupied most of its stomach:
“If you have 80 plastic bags in your stomach, you die.”
Thon explained that every year, in Thai waters, over 300 marine animals like this pilot whale, or sea turtles and dolphins die after consuming plastic. Thailand is among the largest users of plastic bags in the world. Thon said that this is a huge problem: “We use a lot of plastic.”
People on the internet who live in Thailand and saw the fate of the mammal were angered and sympathized with it:
“I feel sorry for the animal that didn’t do anything wrong, but has to bear the brunt of human actions.”
The top five plastic polluters in the world, according to last year’s reports from Ocean Conservancy place Thailand alongside China, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam. They use over a half of the plastics that get dumped into the ocean – 8-13 million tonnes, to be more exact.
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.