Sick whale with dozens of plastic bags in stomach dies

About 80 plastic bags were found in the stomach of a pilot whale that died in Thailand after a five-day effort to save it, marine officials said on Sunday.

Pilot whale vomited up 5 bags, but later died with 80 bags still inside

Thai marine experts say the small male pilot whale was discovered on May 28, barely alive, in a canal in southern Thailand. The animal died five days later. (EPA-EFE/STR)

About 80 plastic bags were found in the stomach of a small male pilot whale that died in Thailand after a five-day effort to save it, marine officials said on Sunday.

The whale was discovered last Monday in a canal in the southern province of Songkhla and received treatment from a team of veterinarians.

The whale spat out five plastic bags on Friday and later died, the marine and coastal resources department said on its website.

This image shows some of the plastic bags that were found in the stomach of the whale during an necropsy in Songkhla province, in southern Thailand. (EPA-EFE/THAIWHALES)

An necropsy found another 80 bags and other plastic items weighing eight kilograms in the whale's stomach.

Jatuporn Buruspat, head of the department, said they planned to raise public awareness of the problem on World Oceans Day on June 8 and call for reduced use of plastic.

Thais use huge numbers of plastic bags, but authorities have launched campaigns to try to encourage people to use fewer and to introduce reusable bags.