A veterinarian had to remove a 12-inch piece of plastic pollution that was eaten by a green turtle. The turtle is now recovering after having the plastic pulled from his backside.
Vet Pulls A 12-Inch Plastic Bag From A Green Turtle
It started when someone saw the turtle having difficulty walking after being washed ashore in eastern Thailand. A rescue service in Thailand was contacted by local residents. They took the turtle to the Marine and Coastal Resources Research and Development Center in Bangkok.
You can watch the video footage below of the veterinarian pulling the thin strip of a plastic bag from the turtle. Be aware that it is difficult to watch.
The plastic was being extracted from the turtle’s cloaca, an orifice located on the posterior of the animal that is used for defecation, reproduction, and even to get rid of excess carbon dioxide.
Because the plastic bag was in the intestines of the turtle, it became constipated and was having difficulty with digestion. According to the veterinarian, the turtle would have eventually died if the plastic had not been removed.
“The plastic garbage that people throw out washes into the seas, where it becomes highly dangerous for the animals,” he said. “They eat the plastic without knowing that it is not edible then it slowly kills them.”
The green sea turtle eats mostly algae and marine grasses. More than likely, it mistook the piece of plastic for a piece of seagrass.
The turtle is now being cared for by the veterinarian and is being rehabilitated before it will be released into the ocean again.
The green sea turtle can be found in warm coastal waters worldwide. It is an endangered species according to the IUCN red list. Many countries now protect the green sea turtle, including Asian countries that often kill the turtle for its meat.
Even though some efforts have been made to help save the species, fishing nets and harvesting of eggs, along with the loss of habitat, have continued to threaten their existence. You can also add plastic in the ocean to that list.
According to some figures published in the Journal Science, between 4.8 and 12.7 million tons of plastic make their way into the ocean annually.
When plastic stays in the ocean, it can end up covered with algae and will smell like food to sea turtles. They will eat it and it often clogs their intestines. According to a report published in Scientific Reports in 2018, a 20% chance of death existed for a turtle who only ate a single piece of plastic. If they eat 14 pieces, the figure climbs to 50%.
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