Disturbing footage of a snake in Goa, India vomiting an empty soft drink bottle highlights the world’s mounting plastic pollution crisis.
The clip shows a handler and several bystanders observing a cobra writhing and eventually regurgitating a disposable bottle that it probably mistook for food. The group cheers as the reptile successfully discharges the item.
“When I saw the snake with a bulge in its stomach, I thought the cobra must have swallowed something big that it was not able to digest,” said wildlife rescuer Goutham Bhagat, as quoted by the Daily Mail. “But I didn’t have an idea that it would would spit out an empty soft drinks bottle.”
“I have asked many people as to why the snake would have swallowed the bottle,” Bhagat continued. “But I didn’t get a satisfactory reply from anyone. I hope somebody could give me a logical reply for this.”
Recent government estimates show that more than 15,000 tonnes of plastic waste is generated in India each day, in which 6,000 tonnes go uncollected and littered.
However, there has been some progress in this area. In January, India’s National Capital Region—a massive swath of land that includes the nation’s capital territory, Delhi—outlawed disposable plastic.
While the snake in the video appears unharmed, it is unfortunately very common for wildlife to accidentally ingest our plastic trash. This non-biodegradable menace often stays in the animal’s gut, preventing the digestion of actual food and eventually lead to starvation and death. A 2015 study predicted that plastic will be found in 99 percent of seabirds by 2050 if we do not stop our plastic consumption habits.