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Whale dies after swallowing 80 plastic bags

04 June 2018

Volunteers and veterinarians worked for several days trying to save the mammal.

But it suffered convulsions during the rescue attempt and vomited five plastic bags shortly before it died.

A veterinary team tried "to help stabilise its illness but finally the whale died" on Friday afternoon.

A short-fin male pilot whale in Thailand has died after eating more than 17 pounds (17.7 kilograms) of plastic bags and other packaging, the country's Department of Marine and Coastal Resources reported Saturday on its website.

An autopsy revealed dozens of plastic bags jamming the whale's stomach, weighing 7.7kg in all, the agency wrote on Facebook. 'We use a lot of plastic'.

Marine biologist Thon Thamrongnawasawat told the Agence France-Presse media organisation that the bags had made it impossible for the whale to eat the nutritional food it needed to survive.

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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.

While pilot whales generally eat squid, the department said it believed the whale mistook the plastic litter for food.

Thailand is a major user of plastic bags and its government last month announced it was considering a levy on them.

A tragedy in Thailand is serving as a reminder of the waste littering the world's oceans. Kenya a year ago enacted the world's toughest law against plastic bags.

Eighty plastic bags were found in the stomach of a pilot whale which died in southern Thailand.

Whale dies after swallowing 80 plastic bags