Whale dies with over 80 plastic bags in stomach

A pilot whale found in a canal in Thailand has died after a five-day rescue effort - victim of the millions of tonnes of plastic dumped in the ocean each year.

A whale has died in southern Thailand after swallowing more than 80 plastic bags, officials said, ending an attempted rescue that failed to nurse the mammal back to health. Thailand is one of the world's largest consumers of plastic bags, which kill hundreds of marine creatures living near the country's popular beaches each year.

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 its Facebook page on Saturday. A veterinary team tried "to help stabilise its illness but finally the whale died" last Friday afternoon. An autopsy revealed 80 plastic bags weighing up to 8kg in its stomach.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 04, 2018, with the headline 'Whale dies with over 80 plastic bags in stomach'. Print Edition | Subscribe