Elephant found dead after eating pieces of plastic litter which blocked stomach

Video Credit: Newsflare
Published on July 9, 2020 - Duration: 01:35s

Elephant found dead after eating pieces of plastic litter which blocked stomach

This is the heartbreaking moment an elephant was found dead after eating pieces of plastic litter which blocked its stomach.

The 20-year-old male jumbo name Nong Ay was seen separated from its herd in Chanthaburi, eastern Thailand on Tuesday evening (July 7).

Park rangers hoped the animal would rejoin his family and they continued to track him throughout the evening.

However, rangers discovered the jumbo the next morning in a clearing where he had collapsed in the Khao Khitchakut National Park.

Concerned wildlife staff found no signs of external injuries and called vets to perform a necropsy on the elephant, which weighed around three tonnes.

Medics who dissected the elephant were shocked to find several plastic bags inside his inflamed intestine, which was starting to rot.

They removed at least three large pieces of plastic litter, including two carrier bags or plastic sacks, which the elephant had eaten while foraging through the woodland.

Vets believe the plastic bags had blocked the elephants's intestine and caused an infection which prevented himt from eating and lead to the death.

Speaking in the video, the vet who removed the plastic, said: "The elephant ate the plastic bags, which cannot be digested.

"We believe that the infection caused by the indigestible plastic lead to the jumbo becoming sick and later dying.'' The vet collected the tissue samples from the carcass which will be used to identify the exact cause of the death during secondary examinations.

Thailand's Department of National Parks said in a statement that the necropsy had shown that the elephant had not been to the toilet for at least two days before it was found dead.

Phadet Laithong, Chief Officer of the Khao Khitchakut National Park, added: ''There were no abnormal signs or wounds were detected on the outside of the elephant's body.

''The vet performed a surgical examination and found gastrointestinal disorders, with intestinal inflammation There are wounds in the intestinal wall, blood clots and some necrosis.

''In addition, plastic bags were found causing rotting in the intestines, as well as mixed with faeces in the large intestine.'' Tissue samples were taken to the National Institute of Animal Health, the Faculty of Veterinary Science at Kasetsart University and Chulalongkorn University for further research.

There are an estimated 2,000 to 3,000 elephants that live in the wild in Thailand.


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