Nov. 27 (UPI) -- More than 15 pounds of garbage was discovered in the stomach of a deer found dead at a national park in Thailand, a country where 75 billion pieces of plastic bags are estimated to be discarded annually.
The 10-year-old buck, found dead in Khun Sathan National Park in northern Thailand, had ingested several items of trash, including men's underwear, plastic bags, instant coffee sachets and even plastic rope, the BBC reported Wednesday.
The deer had also consumed instant noodle packets, rubber gloves and handkerchiefs, according to the Bangkok Post.
"We believe it had been eating those plastics for a long time before it died," said Kriangsak Thanopun, a national park director of Thailand's Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department, according to BBC News Thai.
The discovery of the buck, which weighed more than 440 pounds at the time of its death, has pushed the Thai government to take new measures, the Post reported.
Natural Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa said Tuesday national park visitors will be required to collect their garbage in a black plastic bag, which must be returned to rangers before they leave, the report said.
Varawut did not blame plastic use for the death of wildlife. People's habits are to blame, he said, according to the Post.
Plastic consumption among wildlife in Thailand may have also been responsible for the recent death of a baby dugong, a species of manatee.
Environmental group Greenpeace has said 75 billion pieces of plastic bags are discarded every year in Thailand.
Major stores in the country may be required to stop providing single-use plastic bags starting in January 2020, according to the BBC.