Starving Beached Beaked Whale Had 30 Plastic Bags Crammed In Its Belly

Starving Beached Beaked Whale Had 30 Plastic Bags Crammed In Its Belly

Starving Beached Beaked Whale Had 30 Plastic Bags Crammed In Its Belly

A beached whale found off the coast of Norway with 30 plastic bags inside its stomach has been put down.

The whale was in poor condition, and had become stranded in shallow waters off the island of Sotra, leading to wardens putting the animal down.

Researchers from the University of Bergen said that although the whale's death was tragic, it was unsurprising given the amount of plastic waste being dumped in the sea.

Zoologist Terje Lislevand said the whale was in a lot of pain for a long time and its digestive system was completely depleted of nutrients. Many of these plastics - such as those found in the whale's stomach - are not biodegradable and can take decades or even hundreds of years to break down.

The beaked whale was also emaciated and had very little blubber - suggesting that they were badly malnourished.

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"The findings are not surprising, but it is of course sad to discovered such large quantities", he said.

Cuvier's beaked whales are up to 22ft long and usually feed on squid and deep-sea fish. "Animals inadvertently consume plastic and plastic waste which causes them to suffer and at worst, causes them to starve with full stomachs".

He said Friday the United Nations estimates 8 million tons of plastic trash are dumped into oceans each year.

Sadly, plastic is regularly found in the stomachs of beached whales around the world.

The plastic - as well as candy wrappers, smaller bread bags and other garbage- was discovered during the necropsy.