A whale has died in southern Thailand after swallowing more than 80 plastic bags, officials said, ending an attempted rescue which saw volunteers and government vets attempt to nurse the mammal back to health.
The small male pilot whale became the latest victim after it was found barely alive in a canal near the border with Malaysia, the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources said on their Facebook page Saturday.
An autopsy revealed 80 plastic bags weighing up to eight kilograms (18 pounds) in the creature’s stomach, the department added.
The whale vomited up five bags during the rescue attempt before it died, the department said.
Thon Thamrongnawasawat, a marine biologist and lecturer at Kasetsart University, said the bags had made it impossible for the whale to eat any nutritional food.
“It’s a huge problem,” he said. “We use a lot of plastic.”