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Heartbreaking pictures show 80 plastic bags pulled from stomach of dead whale

Heartbreaking pictures show 80 plastic bags pulled from stomach of dead whale
Up to 80 plastic bags extracted from within a whale are seen in Songkhla, Thailand (Picture: Reuters)
Heartbreaking pictures show 80 plastic bags pulled from stomach of dead whale

Upsetting photographs show the shocking result of pollution on a whale that starved to death because it had swallowed 80 plastic bags.

The pilot whale was barely alive when it was found by rescuers in a canal near Thailand’s border with Malaysia.

The whale was described as ’emaciated’ and had struggled to eat because itsstomach was so full of plastic.

It vomited up five bags during rescue attempts which proved fruitless, as the animal died a short time later.

One of the surgeons tasked with trying to treat the whale said it was the worst case of an animal dying due to plastic pollution she had ever seen.

epa06781766 Thai Marine Biologist officials rescue an ailing and immobile short-finned pilot whale at a canal in Songkhla province, southern Thailand, 30 May 2018 (issued 03 June 2018). The short-finned pilot whale reportedly died after swallowing 80 plastic bags weighing 8kg that were found in its stomach after an autopsy. EPA/STR THAILAND OUT
Thai Marine Biologist officials rescuing the short-finned pilot whale at a canal in Songkhla province, southern Thailand (Picture: EPA)
A whale found to have swallowed up to 80 plastic bags is seen in Songkhla, Thailand, in this still image from a June 1, 2018 video footage by Thailand's Department of Marine and Coastal Resources. Thailand's Department of Marine and Coastal Resources/Social Media/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE. MANDATORY CREDIT.
There was so much plastic in the whale’s stomach it could not fit any food in (Picture: EPA)

An autopsy revealed 80 plastic bags weighing up to 8kg (18lb) in the creature’s stomach, the veterinary team said.

People used buoys to keep the whale afloat after it was first spotted on Monday.

An umbrella was used to protect the animal from the blazing sun.

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.

‘If you have 80 plastic bags in your stomach, you die,’ he said.

Thailand is one of the world’s largest users of plastic bags.

epa06781945 A handout photo made available by ThaiWhales.org on 03 June 2018 shows the total 80 pieces of plastic bags were found in a stomach of Short-Finned Pilot Whale after an autopsy in Songkhla province, southern Thailand, 01 June 2018. The short-finned pilot whale reportedly died after swallowing 80 plastic bags weighing eight kilograms that were found in its stomach after an autopsy. EPA/THAIWHALES / HANDOUT NO REUSE/ EMBARGO CONDITIONS - ATTENTION: ONLY PERMITS THE PUBLICATION UNTIL 02 JULY 2018 HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES/NO ARCHIVES
The plastic bags weighed a shocking eight kilograms (Picture: EPA)

Thon said at least 300 marine animals including pilot whales, sea turtles and dolphins, perished each year in Thai waters after ingesting plastic.

‘It’s a huge problem,’ he said. ‘We use a lot of plastic.’

Surgeon Dr Watchara Sakornwimon, who carried out a post-mortem, told Sky News: ‘We found a lot of plastic bags in the stomach, I think around 85 plastic bags.

‘Somehow they were from another country, they were not from only Thailand.

‘Because its the ocean and he’s a whale he can travel around the world. So he ate plastic bags wherever he was that day before he became stranded.’

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