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Baby Turtle Found Dead With 104 Plastic Pieces in Stomach

Baby Turtle Found Dead With 104 Plastic Pieces in Stomach
Highlights

This issue can be solved only after people reduce plastic usage.

As per the CNN report, around 104 pieces of plastic were found in baby turtle stomach that washed up in Boca Raton, Florida, and died soon. A Facebook post has gone viral. The turtle was seen lying next to the plastic pieces that it had consumed. The picture was shared by the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center on Facebook.

Emily Mirowski, a sea turtle rehabilitation assistant at the Center, told CNN, "Before dying the turtle was "weak and emaciated." She further added that the turtle wasn't doing well.

"This is a sad reminder that we all need to do our part to keep our oceans plastic-free," an excerpt from Gumbo Limbo Nature Center's post reads.

After the picture went viral, the internet got upset about it. "So sad. Let's try to recycle and most of all reduce plastic use," a user wrote while another added, "This breaks my heart! Have been trying to reduce the amount of plastic we use for years now." The picture has also helped in raising awareness of plastic hazards.

Another comment read, "Thank you for reminding us to help protect animals from harmful things such as plastic."

Emily dissected the turtle after it died and found that the plastic pieces ranged from balloons to bottle labels. "It was really heart-breaking. 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," she added.

Emily added that several washback turtles that made their way to the Center died as the washback season started. All of those turtles had consumed plastic. Those turtles that make it to oceans for a few weeks and are washed back ashore soon after are known as washbacks.

Baby turtles live for the first few years on mats of floating seaweed called sargassum. "The issue is that with all the plastic in the oceans, that's where the plastic sticks. All the microplastics stick to the seaweed, and it looks like food to the baby turtles," Emily told CNN.

After consuming plastic, the turtles feel full, that keep them deprived of proper nutrition. This issue can be solved only after people reduce plastic usage.

Emily added, "Not just recycling, but eliminating plastic out of daily use. Every piece of plastic that's ever been made is still out there. It never goes away, and it just breaks down to smaller pieces."

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