This poor tiny turtle pooped ‘pure plastic’ for six days after being rescued from a beach in Sydney.
The green sea turtle hatchling was missing a flipper when it was found on the beach immobilized and lying on its back in a rockpool. The 127-gram hatchling was taken to Sydney’s Taronga zoo’s wildlife hospital.
According to the wildlife hospital, it was missing one of its four flippers, had a chip in another, and had a hole in its shell. Besides these injuries, the turtle appeared to be in a good condition and did not have trouble swimming.
“But then it started to defecate, and it defecated plastic for six days. No feces came out, just pure plastic,” the Taronga veterinary nurse Sarah Male said.
“It was all different sizes, colours and compositions. Some were hard, some were sharp, and with some, you could tell the plastic had writing on it. This is all some of these poor little things are eating. There’s so much plastic around they’re just consuming it as their first initial food,” she said.
They filled up six tiny vials full of plastic. Luckily, the turtle survived and now weighs almost 400 grams. However, it could be a whole year before the animal can be released back into the ocean.
Globally, we produce 300 million tons of plastic every year, 78 percent of which is NOT reclaimed or recycled. Around 8.8 million tons of plastic get dumped into the oceans every year! 700 marine animals are faced with extinction due to the threat that plastic poses to them in the form of entanglement, pollution, and ingestion.
50 percent of sea turtles have plastic in their stomachs. By 2050, 99 percent of all seabird species will have ingested plastic waste. According to a study by the World Economic Forum, there will be one tonne of plastic for every three tonnes of fish by 2025, and if things go on business as usual, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050.
This article by Hailey Kanowski was first published by OneGreenPlanet on 5 August 2022. Lead Image Source : Salty View/Shutterstock.
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