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12 Inch long Piece of Plastic Ingested by Sea Turtle
Plastic pollution has once again reared its ugly head, finding its way into the intestines of a naive sea turtle. A video has been released, and has since gone viral, of a vet pulling a foot-long piece of plastic from a turtle’s rear end.
Animal health professionals believe that it is most likely that the turtle had mistaken the piece of floating rubbish for food and swallowed it down. Had the vet not intervened and removed the plastic, it would have likely caused the beautiful creature to die.
The green sea turtle was sighted on the shore in Rayong, Eastern Thailand on 10th May. Locals spotted that it was struggling to walk and alerted an animal rescue team. Officials then rescued the turtle and took it to the Marine and Coastal Resources Research and Development Center in Bangkok, where a vet performed the procedure to remove the plastic from the turtle’s posterior orifice.
Why is Plastic a Problem for Turtles?
According to a study led by the University of Queensland, around 52% of the world’s turtles will have ingested plastic waste and experts fear that this figure will become even higher if plastic pollution is not addressed.
These creatures ingest plastic because a floating piece of plastic waste can resemble jellyfish, algae or other small creatures that make up a sea turtle’s diet.
Hazardous plastic enters their systems causing chaos to their digestive tracts and can eventually lead to their demise. Studies have identified that eating a single piece of plastic could increase a turtle’s mortality rate. To make matters worse, turtles are physically unable to regurgitate the things they ingest. This means that once a turtle has eaten a piece of rubbish, its only way out is through defecation which, in the case of plastic bags, can slow down the digestive process, cause fatal injuries to internal organs or kill the turtle.
Plastic Pollution is Real
Millions of tonnes of plastic end up in the oceans every year. It is estimated that 60 to 90 percent of all marine debris is made up of plastics.
In the UK alone, around 5,000 different kinds of plastic have been found per mile on beaches. Marine conservation charities have also reported that there are more than 150 plastic bottles scattered across every mile of the beaches in the UK.
We won’t share the video here but if you want to see it a simple Internet search will reveal it – be warned it is not a pleasant watch.
This is just another reason why there is a desperate need to tackle the world’s plastic pollution problem. This is another of the creatures that have been identified and saved – how many others are there that never get discovered and perished in the hands of plastic pollution?
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