Plastic bags have become a severe nuisance to the environment. Many make their way into Earth’s oceans as pollution and impose grave consequences on various forms of unsuspecting marine wildlife.
Whales are some of the most common victims of ocean plastic pollution. Unfortunately, the problem seems to be getting worse rather than better as more whales perish from ingesting too many indigestible plastic bags at a time.
Image Credit: Pixabay
The most recent case involved a distressed pilot whale that a team of local veterinarians discovered in a canal in Southern Thailand last week. After finding the animal in bad shape, the team tried treating it to help it feel better. Unfortunately, the situation didn’t end well.
The unsuccessful treatment ended with the whale passing away for unknown reasons. Curious as to why the whale perished, the team later performed an autopsy procedure to learn the cause of death. The results were shocking.
More than 80 individual plastic bags were uncovered inside the whale’s stomach, weighing about 17 pounds in total.
Image Credit: Reuters
Experts believe that the whale mistook the plastic bags for food and inadvertently devoured them. After accumulating too many inside its stomach, the whale likely experienced a slow and painful death resulting from a mix of starvation and inability to digest its stomach contents.
The sad truth about the nature of this unnecessary loss of life is that millions of plastic bags plague the world’s oceans and they’ll only continue to accumulate there until we make the shift to more environmentally-friendly bag materials.
Unfortunately, wildlife continues to suffer as a result of our pollution, and the latest findings paint an eerie picture of what’s happening to marine wildlife on a broader scale.