A short-fin male pilot whale that Thai authorities found in the Na Thap Canal in Thailand near the border with Malaysia early last week had died from eating more than 80 plastic bags and other packaging.
The poor animal was found by the authorities on May 28, Monday, in the canal. A group who rescued the whale tried to save it from dying, as can be seen in the photos that posted on Thai Facebook on Thursday.
Volunteers did their best to save the whale and nurse it back to health by giving it medicine and fluids, according to CNN.
Unfortunately, it did not last long as the whale died on Friday after it threw up five plastic bags, Jatuporn Burutpat, the Director-General of Thailand’s Department of Marine and Coastal Resources said on Saturday.
It was later found out during an autopsy that the whale had tragically consumed around 7.7 kilograms (17 pounds) of plastic including more than 80 plastic bags, mistaking it for squids, which is its main food source, Huffington Post reported.
A grim photo posted on Facebook shows the amount of plastic that were removed from the whale’s stomach.
There are at least 300 marine animals that die from ingesting plastic materials in Thai waters each year including whales, dolphins, and sea turtles, Marine Biologist and a lecturer at Kasetsart University told The Guardian via Huffington Post.
“It’s a huge problem,” he said. “We use a lot of plastic.”
“If you have 80 plastic bags in your stomach, you die,” he also said in the post he made on his Facebook, as reported on CNET, adding that, “We can’t help her,” regarding the whale’s fate. “No one can help a pilot whale with 8 kilograms of plastic bag in (its) stomach.”