Featured Image Credit: University of Bergen
Earlier this year, a Cuvier’s beaked whale also known as a goose-beaked whale washed up onto a Norwegian beach, so extremely ill and in pain that the only solution was to euthanize the poor creature.
What scientists and researchers didn’t know at the time was why the whale was so ill. But when they found out, it was horrifying.
The poor whale had 30 plastic bags as well as other pieces of garbage inside of it’s stomach, ranging from candy wrappers, plastic bread bags,” and other garbage.
“It wasn’t like it was in just part of the stomach… it filled up the whole space. It’s the explanation of why the animal acted so strange and stranded,” Terje Lislevand, zoologist with the University of Bergen reported.
The adult whale was 20 feet long and weighed about 2 tons, and was practically a regular after being seen plenty of times in shallow waters off the island of Sotra, Norway.
Lislevand also shared that he believed the whale had been in a lot of pain, and for a long time. “Its digestive system was completely depleted of nutrients,” he told NRK.
They think that the whale could have mistaken the bags as squid or even fish, the natural diet of Cuvier’s beaked whales, and swallowed them as a “meal”, unable to digest the waste.
This is a serious issue, and one that needs to be resolved. We’re the problem. But we’re also the solution. Be mindful where your recyclable trash goes when you get rid of it, and maybe we can save our ocean life before it’s too late.