JUN 12, 2018 5:33 PM PDT

Plastic and Other Ocean Trash to Blame for Sea Turtle's Death

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

The innumerable amounts of plastic and bits of trash that reside in Earth’s oceans have been wreaking a lot of havoc on marine wildlife lately. In recent memory, plastic pollution has taken a devastating toll on both a wild harp seal and pilot whale, each of which ate too much of the stuff and died from being unable to digest it.

But the list doesn’t end there; it now seems that an endangered green sea turtle washed up at a Thailand-based beach and later died from similar circumstances.

This poor sea turtle didn't survive after ingesting too much plastic trash.

Image Credit: Marine and Coastal Resource Development Centre/AFP/Getty Images

A team of animal experts allegedly stumbled upon the animal, barely alive, and attempted to help it. They quickly performed X-rays to find out what was wrong, and the procedure revealed all sorts of junk in the animal’s digestive system that didn’t belong there.

The team then attempted to feed the green sea turtle, but it refused to eat. Sadly, it passed away two days later from what can only be described as starvation-related health complications.

Related: Sea turtle has almost 1,000 metal coins surgically-removed from its stomach

After the animal passed away, the team moved forward with an autopsy to learn more about the official cause of death. The autopsy uncovered mounds of shredded plastic, rubber bands, and other kinds of trash lodged inside of the animal’s stomach and intestinal tract.

The experts found all this inside of the sea turtle's body.

Image Credit: Marine and Coastal Resource Development Centre/AFP/Getty Images

As it would seem, these bits of indigestible matter clogged the digestive tract and inhibited the digestion process. The animal likely suffered a slow and painful death from being unable to eat fresh food or absorb nutrients from the bits of trash.

Related: Sea turtles don't just swim with their flippers, they eat with them too

The results of the failed rescue attempt underscore a disgusting truth about human nature: that our actions needlessly pollute the environment and harm unsuspecting wild animals that mistake our garbage for food.

The only question now is: when is enough going to be enough? It’s time to clean up our act for the sake of wildlife.

Source: Phys.org

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
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