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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.

Trapped

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

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

Garbage

The
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.

Thamrongnawasawat
said:
 “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.

Plastic
problem

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.”

Emily Court

Emily Court is a writer and content creator published in Plant Based News, Raise Vegan, Living Vegan and The Financial Diet. A self-described "recovering vegan hothead," she is now a pragmatic member of Vancouver's vibrant and growing plant-powered community. Hailing from Halifax, Nova Scotia, she holds a BA in Spanish and certificate in Intercultural Communication from Dalhousie University, where her thesis focused on topics of cultural and gender-based discrimination. She aims to apply a privilege-conscious...