>> These are some of 80 plastic bags found in the stomach of a whale. On Sunday, Thailand's Marine and Coastal Resources Department announced that this pilot whale had died on Friday. Another victim of the 8 million tons of plastic that the UN says are dumped into the ocean every year.
The whale was found in a canal in the southern Thai province of Songkhla on Monday. And for the next five days a team of veterinarians struggled to rescue it. Before its death, the whale spat out five plastic bags. An autopsy found a further 17 pounds or 8 kilograms of plastic in its stomach.
A Thai marine official said the pilot whale, which mostly feeds on squid, probably thought the floating bags were food. Thai people use huge numbers of plastic bags and authorities there have introduced campaigns to encourage people to cut back or introduce reusable bags. And the death of this whale also comes just before the UN's World Environment Day on June 5th.
The theme this year is beating plastic pollution. This death serving as a symbol perhaps of the scale of that challenge.