Numerous sea turtles who were stuffed up with plastic have been rescued and released back into the sea, thanks to rescuers from the Grupo Marino Foundation in Buenos Aires who cared for the turtles.
The turtles were rescued from a fishing net in San Clemente Del Tuyu, Argentina, and were eventually found to have ten different types of plastic inside of them.
Two green turtles and four loggerhead turtles were rehabilitated for over a month. Rescuers kept a close eye on them to make sure there was no more plastic left in their digestive systems before they were released back into the sea.
Biologist Karina Alvarez explains that plastic is hazardous, not just to the environment but to wildlife too. She says it’s essential to eliminate ocean pollution before conditions worsen and kill more marine life.
“The danger of plastic is that it is silent,” Alvarez, said. “Many times, the animal appears to be in perfect health. However, during the checkup and evaluation we found a large amount of this material inside. So, it is important to get rid of the plastic before the condition worsens and it ends up causing the deaths of the specimens.”
Although plastic has only been mass-produced since the 1940s, it’s having a huge negative impact on these turtles.
According to WWF, 52 percent of the world’s turtles have eaten plastic waste. The turtles see the plastic floating in the water and think that they are jellyfish, algae, or other species that turtles’ diets consist of.
While these few turtles were lucky enough to be rescued and saved from dying of plastic consumption, most turtles aren’t.
All it takes is one piece of plastic to rupture internal organs and one bag to cause intestinal blockages, which leaves the turtles unable to eat and to eventually die from starvation.
While the government must step up to end pollution, people can also do their part to reduce plastic pollution by recycling and reducing single-use items.
Learn more about the turtle rescue in the video below:
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