Dead sea turtle found wrapped in plastic bag in Rio de Janeiro

Turtle swimming in dirt in Brazil, photo: still video Reuters
Turtle swimming in dirt in Brazil, photo: still video Reuters

A dead sea turtle with a plastic bag wrapped around his neck was found floating off Guanabara’s bay in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil on Saturday.

Pensioner Antonio Pereira Dos Santos was at the bay when he saw the animal trapped in plastic. He wanted to rescue the turtle and jumped into the sea, but the animal had already died.

Biologist Mario Moscatelli told Reuters he thinks the bag suffocated the turtle or acted as an anchor, pulling him underwater where he drowned.

Moscatelli said sea turtles are “victims of several problems such as fishermen, sewage and the ingestion of waste, mainly plastic, which they mistake for food”.

“The animal feeds on the plastic, thinking it is food and ends up dying from asphyxiation. Unfortunately, this is a reality in Guanabara Bay,” he added. Every year, hundreds of animals are killed or hurt by sewage and plastic waste in Rio de Janeiro waters.

Eleven million tons of plastic are discarded into the ocean every year, according to the United Nations Environment Programme.

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