Wellington Zoo is warning New Zealanders to pick up their rubbish after a Pied Shag died overnight after ingesting a vape pen.
In a post to Facebook, Wellington Zoo said the young Pied Shag was dropped off by the SPCA after it was found on the ground weak and scrawny.
X-ray images supplied by the Zoo show the object stuck inside the bird's body, detailing the scale of the pen against the bird's size.
Nest Te Kōhanga, the zoo's animal hospital and centre for native wildlife, performed an endoscopy on the native bird and removed the vape pen.
Sadly the Shag died overnight.
"A sad reminder to please always tidy up after yourself and make sure these lovely birds don't mistake your rubbish for food."
The team at Nest Te Kōhanga believe the Shag wouldn't have eaten for days and could have suffered from "serious metal and nicotine poisoning".
Although this is the first time the Wellington Zoo has come across an animal swallowing a vape pen they said they come across "these sorts of problems regularly".
"Humans are disgusting, very sad this has happened," one Facebook user wrote.
"Is this the future. How sad. That poor bird. Vaping = the new plastic bag, [sic]" wrote another.