Whale dies after eating more than 17 lbs of plastic

The small pilot whale was found near Thailand's border with Malaysia

Image The small pilot whale was found near Thailand's border with Malaysia

About 80 pieces of plastic weighing 17 pounds were found inside a whale in Thailand, NBC reported.

In all, more than 17lb of plastic was pulled from inside the whale, indicating how feeding would have become impossible as it languished in a canal on the Thai-Malaysian border. A veterinary team rescued the whale and attempted to "stabilize its illness", according to AFP, but it died Friday after vomiting five plastic bags.

The male pilot whale was found struggling in a canal on Monday in the southern province of Songkhla.

Marine officials said that the plastic made the whale sick and prevented it from finding food.

Thailand remains one of the world's worst polluters, with government initiatives to convince people to use less plastic largely failing, they said.

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The ABC notes that Thailand is one of the world's largest users of plastic bags and that its government is considering adding a levy on disposable plastic bags. Pilot whales primarily eat squid but are also known to hunt octopus, cuttlefish and small fish when squid prove elusive, the American Cetacean Society said.

Thailand's Marine and Coastal Resources Department announced that this pilot whale had died on Friday (June 1) - another victim of the eight million tonnes of plastic that the United Nations says are dumped into the ocean every year.

Veterinarian Watchara Sakornwimon told Euronews she had "never seen a lot of plastic in a whale's stomach like this".

In April, a 33-foot sperm whale weighing almost 15,000 pounds was found dead on a Spanish beach.

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