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A pilot
whale who turned up in a canal in northern Thailand died after spitting out
five plastic trash bags, only for a post-mortem to uncover 80 more in the
animal’s system.


had worked for five days to free the whale from the Songkhla canal, but were ultimately

However, according
to Marine Biologist Thon Thamrongnawasawat, confinement was not the reason for
the whale’s death.


investigation also turned up other items which – together with the 85 plastic
bags – came to 17 pounds of human-made waste that had compromised the whale’s
basic functions.

 “If you have 80 plastic bags in your stomach, you die.”

He went on
to explain that plastics are the cause of death for at least 300 marine mammals found
in Thailand annually.


Marine and
Coastal Department Chief Jatuporn Buruspat said that the case will be used to
prompt ‘all sectors to show their intentions on how to reduce the use of
plastic’ in the country.

Whale and
Dolphin Conservation’s Executive Director in North American, explained to National Geographic that the
18 million pounds of plastic added to the world’s oceans each year affects animals
and humans alike – poisoning the latter by way of ‘seafood’.

Of the
whale’s death, she said: “It’s symbolic at best, but it’s symbolic of an
incredibly significant problem.”