Veterinarians in Tamil Nadu recently had their hands full of plastic after they fished out about 52 kg of the non-biodegradable substance out of the stomach of a cow.

It took surgeons of Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Vepery, over five hours to clear out all the plastic from the cow’s stomach. It had apparently ingested all of it while foraging.

The cow was brought from Thirumullaivoyal to Vepery for treatment after it was noted that the creature was in pain. According to a report in The Hindu, it often kicked itself in its own stomach, possibly due to pain caused by all the plastic inside it. The cow’s capacity to yield milk also reduced. It also faced difficulties in urinating and defecating.

Referring to the quantity of plastic removed from the cow “unprecedented,” S. Balasubramanian, Director of clinics at the University said that the incident was a clear indication of the dangers of indiscriminate disposal of plastic. According to the doctors, it took about two years for all that plastic to accumulate.

The cow is currently undergoing treatment in Vepery and would soon be on its way to recovery.

Finding plastic inside the stomachs of animals has become a fairly common occurrence across the world now. In the last year itself, a number of white sperm whales have washed up dead in several places with bodies full of plastic. Heartbreaking images of plastic and steel contents fished out of a green turtle’s body in Thailand also caused widespread outrage.