Whale Death Caused by Plastic Bags

A rare Gervais beaked whale was found on a beach in Puerto Rico with ten pounds of twisted plastic in its stomach. The ball of plastic caused the whale to starve to death. It was a juvenile female, and was emaciated due to not eating for days.

In February of this year, another beaked whale died after ingesting a single plastic bag because the chemicals reacted with the whale’s internal organs very negatively. Some whales mistake the plastic shopping bags for jellyfish, because they are moved by water currents in ways the resemble the motion of jellyfish. Once a whale swallows a plastic shopping bag, they can’t digest it properly, and it can kill them.

It isn’t the first time a whale has died due to a stomach blockage composed entirely, or in part, or plastic bags. Last year Discovery News reported a gray whale near Seattle washed ashore after dying from having too much plastic in its stomach. In this case, the contents included 20 plastic bags, small towels, surgical gloves, sweat pants, plastic pieces, duct tape, and a golf ball.

A recent Scientific American article stated the world creates 260 million tons of plastic each year, and much of it winds up in the oceans. We can do our part by not using plastic shopping bags.

This video is disturbing, so if you don’t want to be upset don’t watch it. It shows a whale that ingested plastic bags, although it is not the exact one mentioned above.

Image Credit: noaa.gov

Related Links:
Rare Beaked Whale Rescued
Whales and Fish Reduce Global Warming


Carolt M.
Past Member 3 years ago

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Elaine A.
Past Member 6 years ago

So sad that such an amazing creature is killed because stupid mankind has to dump there trash in their oceans.

Elizabeth M.
Elizabeth M7 years ago

What is the problem with a lot of people today. So many are brain dead when it comes to plastic, it makes me sick. These whales died because of humans not being responsible.

Please remember that 'we are only borrowing this planet from our children'.

Lauren Tebo
Lauren Tebo7 years ago

So sad. So disappointing to hear of so many victims all because people aren't responsible and have no respect for our planet

Janine H.
Janine H7 years ago

This is a very sad story. Other animals has to go only because "we" humans do not want to share the world with other life forms, these life forms "we" would not eat (vegetarian food is not a bad idea, or eating with conscience as the so called primitive cultures did and still do, if they still exist. No meat/fish every day). "We" destroy averything around us and "we" forget, that everything is important to survive, too.

As little child i thought that rain is when God and the angels cry - because "we" humans have forgotten that we need this "intelligence", someone who could help... if "we" hadn't turned away for many centuries ago...

"Only when the last tree has been cut down; Only when the last river has been poisoned; Only when the last fish has been caught; Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten."
(Native American proverb)

"We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish, but we have not yet learned the simple art of living together as brothers." (Martin Luther King)

Pat Vee
Pat Vee7 years ago

If we all did our bit things like this would never happen.There will always be lothsome humans who dont give a dam about their environment.So the rest of us have to work twice as hard to try to make up the shortfall.But dont get disheartened, there are many more of us than 10 years ago,and by educating our children and grand children,to cherish the world and creatures who live in it, we will hopefully be 100 fold at the turn of the century.This I have to belive.

jane richmond
jane richmond7 years ago


Shelly Peterson
Shelly Peterson7 years ago


Eternal Gardener
Eternal G7 years ago

Absolutely senseless and horrid!

Latonya W.
Latonya W7 years ago

humans........so sad........Im doing everything to elimnate plastic from my life.....