#ShockWildlifeTruths: Rare beaked whale euthanised, 30 plastic bags found inside

2017-02-03 10:32 - Louzel Lombard Steyn
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Cape Town - A goose-beaked whale found off the coast of Sotra, Norway, had to be euthanised over the weekend, as it suffering was too great to bear for conservationists. 

Before its euthanasia, the whale continually attempted to breach, while the local fire department and Department of Wildlife Conservation struggled to get it out into deeper waters. But, as the whale kept swimming ashore, ultimately causing the conservation officials to end its life and suffering. 

The cause of the elusive animal's death wish was soon known, when researchers found 30 whole plastic bags inside its stomach, alongside large quantities of candy wrappers, plastic bread bags and many more small pieces of plastic.

Zoologist Terje Lislevand, speaking to the local NRK, said that the whale was in a lot of pain for a long time. Its digestive system was completely depleted of nutrients. 

“I’m afraid to estimate how long it could have taken before his stomach was totally full. In this case, the plastic particles accumulated and created a barrier in the system.”

This goose-beaked whale is the first documented one of its kind to be found in Norway. 

What’s left of the whale has been frozen at the University of Bergen Museum. They plan on eventually putting it on display in the museum.

WARNING: Graphic images

More plastic in the sea that fish 

According to a study done by the World Economic Forum, by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish (by weight) in the ocean. 

The study also shows that there are at least 150 million tonnes of trash in the ocean today. There are currently five giant landfills floating around in oceans around the world.  

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