A baby sea turtle with over 100 pieces of plastic in its body found in Boca Raton, Florida.
The tiny loggerhead was still alive when they found it. Sadly, not long after, it died due to the large amount of plastic in its stomach. The Gumbo Limbo Nature Center shared a devastating photo of the palm-sized turtle, next to the different plastic fragments that took its life.
Not such a happy #TurtleTuesday this week. It's washback season at Gumbo Limbo and weak, tiny turtles are washing up…
According to CNN, one of the rehabilitation assistants, Emily Mirowsky examined the turtle before it died. The assistant said:
“It was really heartbreaking. But it’s something we’ve seen for several years, and we’re just glad people are finally seeing this image, and hopefully, it’s raising awareness.”
Generally, plastic in the oceans sticks to the seaweed, which is the main food source for sea turtles.
Mirowski added that having plastic in their stomaches gives turtles the feeling that they are full. This makes them stop taking any proper nutrition which is much needed for their survival.
Unfortunately, turtles often suffer and die from malnutrition caused by plastic consumption. This is why Gumbo Limbo Nature Center put a cooler in front of its building, so people can drop them off for rehabilitation. Thanks to this cooler, the loggerhead came to the center’s attention.
In Florida, sea turtles’ nesting season continues from March to October every year. Nearly 90% of the U.S. nesting sea turtles choose to spend that season on the Florida beaches. Until now, the nature center has seen about 100 washbacks, dozens of which have died. The environmental program coordinator of the center shared with ABC News, that usually when they go back to the shore, there is something wrong.
Shockingly, all of the baby turtles that died, had plastic in their bodies.
As the post says, this incident is a bitter reminder that we all need to contribute to keep our oceans clean and plastic-free.