Green sea turtle rescued in Argentina with stomach full of plastic

Young green sea turtle, photo: CMP1975 via Canva
Young green sea turtle, photo: CMP1975 via Canva

The poop of a young green sea turtle rescued from a fishing net off the coast of Argentina contained more than a dozen pieces of plastic.

Veterinarians said the turtle, about 35 centimeters long, expelled 18 grams of plastic fragments, including nets, plastic caps, styrofoam, nylon, and cellophane.

“We were impressed by the amount of plastic the turtle excreted in such a short time due to the small size of the animal,” Karina Alvarez, a biologist at the Mundo Marino Foundation, told news agency Reuters.

Even though the turtle released a large amount of waste, x-rays showed that there were more plastic pieces stuck in his intestines. The animal is under treatment at the rescue center of Mundo Marino foundation.

“He underwent x-ray examinations to see if the entire digestive tract was already free because he stopped expelling plastic bits for two days. In the x-ray, we saw that there is still content to be eliminated,” Alvarez said.

​The small turtle was found by a fisherman on the coast of San Clemente del Tuyu in eastern Argentina on December 13. Experts have warned that plastic pollution kills large numbers of seabirds and marine mammals and destroys ocean ecosystems.

Discarded fishing nets entangle and kill dolphins, sea turtles, and other animals. And plastic pieces often get stuck in the throats and digestive tracts of marine animals.

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