Dead whale's stomach found to contain 30 plastic bags

Scientists have found 30 plastic bags and other debris in the stomach of a dead whale.

According to the NRK, the Cuvier's beaked whale was seen behaving strangely off the country's coast on Saturday, and officials eventually determined it was sick and needed to be euthanized.

After its death, a team at the University of Bergen examined the remains of the animal.

Zoologist Lislevand told DPA that "the whale's stomach was full of plastic bags and packaging with labels in Danish and English."

In fact, the team suspects that the material blocked the animal's intestines, causing extreme pain and malnourishment.

Dead whale’s stomach contained 30 plastic bags
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Dead whale’s stomach contained 30 plastic bags
(Photo: Christoph Noever/University of Bergen)
(Photo: Christoph Noever/University of Bergen)
(Photo: Henrik Glenner/University of Bergen)
(Photo: Christoph Noever/University of Bergen)

Lislevand also commented, "The findings are not surprising, but clearly it is sad to discovered such large quantities."

According to the Los Angeles Times, a 2014 study determined the oceans contained approximately 5 trillion plastic items with a combined weight of around 250,000 tons.

Because many marine animals end up ingesting the material which does not break down, some governments have instituted policies to discourage the use of plastic bags and other similar items.

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