A baby green sea turtle rescued from a Sydney beach had consumed so much plastic that it took six days for it all to be excreted, a wildlife hospital has said.
Taronga zoo’s wildlife hospital said the hatchling was found lying on its back in a rockpool near Tamarama beach in Sydney, Australia. Weighing 127 grams, the turtle had a hole in its shell and was missing one of its flippers. Another one of its four flippers had been chipped.
The turtle apparently washed onto the beach by a swell and was brought into the sanctuary, where it appeared to be in good physical condition aside from aforementioned injuries. It had no trouble swimming, but carers were surprised when the baby turtle began to defecate.
“But then it started to defecate, and it defecated plastic for six days. No faeces came out, just pure plastic,” the Taronga veterinary nurse Sarah Male said, according to The Guardian.
“Although it took six days for the turtle to pass all of the plastic in its system, amazingly it survived and is now doing well,” Taronga Zoo Sydney informed its followers on Facebook.
The plastic fragments that the turtle had consumed were “very sharp”, the zoo said, and the hatchling was lucky that they did not cause any internal damage.“We came up with six tiny vials full of all different sizes of plastics. Some of the plastic that did come out was really hard, which could have caused an obstruction. But this little guy – luck was on his side, and he excreted it all out,” nurse Male said.