Second pilot whale dies with 8 kgs of plastic bags in its stomach

The second pilot whale has succumbed to its death after it was kept for treatment and observation for four days by a team of veterinarians and villagers who tried their best to save its life.

Photo: ThaiWhales’ Facebook page

The vets later cut open the whale’s stomach and they were shocked by the finding in the stomach – 85 plastic bags weigh about eight kilogrammes which were the cause of its death like several other dolphins and sea turtles which were earlier found dead because of plastic bags in their stomachs.

The 4.5 metre long pilot whale beached on the shore in Klong Natap, Tambon Natap, Chana district of Songkhla on May 29.  Villagers and vets from the marine and coastal resources research centre caught the mammal and put it in a stretcher floating in the sea to prevent it from drowning and, at the same time, to facilitate care and treatment.

But they could not save the beast.  Four days after, it died.

Photo: ThaiWhales’ Facebook page

The followings are an account of the final day of the poor whale which was posted on Facebook page of ThbaiWhales:

“May 31, I got up between 2-3 am to change shift with Mor Big (a vet) from the marine and coalstal resources research centre in Phuket.  Mor Big told Mor Aeh, another vet, who was resting in a tent that the whale’s condition appear to be improving.

“May 31, the team got up at about dawn with the vets preparing medicine and to assess the beast’s condition as officials take turns to lift up the whale.   Weather is good, but very sunny.  Mor Big walks up with a piece of plastic bag soaked in stinking fluid – the same foul smell when a whale was cut up.  He said the whale shook violently and then he found this plastic bag, but no one was sure whether it came out of the whale’s mouth or not.  But then everyone in the tent started to understand the cause of the whale’s sickness.

“In the afternoon, the vet on duty shouted from the sea that the whale’s condition has worsened, shaking violently.  Almost everyone was in the water to help out…in that moment of life.”

Photo: ThaiWhales’ Facebook page

The three vets tried to administer medicine while about ten people were in the sea water to keep the whale from shaking which might cause water to flow into its blowhold to the extent that it might choke.

But the whale shook violently trying to throw out the plastic bags inside its stomach.  In the meantime, the vets tried to help the whale throw out.

Photo: ThaiWhales’ Facebook page

Another ThaiWhales’ Facebook page post said an official observed the whale’s breathing and didn’t feel it was breathing for up to 10 minutes. Another official then shouted to report that he didn’t feel the pulse of the whale.  A CPR was later administered using a special device.  A few more CPR were administered, but the life sign didn’t return.

The whale remains breatheless and everyone removed the rope tied around the whale and tried to bring it ashore to save its life.  But it didn’t respond and its heart stopped beating.