A baby turtle was found dead on a beach in Florida with 104 pieces of plastic clogging its intestines.
The palm-sized reptile was discovered by the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, a cooperative project based in Boca Raton.
The organisation monitors turtle movements during ‘washback season’, which they describe as when turtle hatchlings that made it to the Gulf Stream start to wash back up along the US coast.
In a Facebook post, they explained ‘weak, tiny turtles’ that wash up on the coastline were in need of their help. Unfortunately, not all of them are able to be saved.
Whitney Crowder, the rehabilitation coordinator at Gumbo Limbo, told WPTV that they had seen 121 washbacks this season and dozens had died.
A shocking photo was shared on Facebook and Gumbo Limbo explained that it had swallowed 104 separate pieces of plastic, despite it being small enough to fit in the palm of your hand.
The tiny fragments of plastic can be seen lined up next to the turtle, and are made up of everything from balloons to bottle labels.
This turtle unfortunately is in no way the exception.
The Post Continued:
100 per cent of our washbacks that didn’t make it had plastic in their intestinal tracks.
With each and every single dead turtle found to have consumed plastic, Crowder pointed out it was ‘safe to assume’ every living turtle has, too.
According to Greenpeace, a truckload of plastic enters the ocean every minute. As the material breaks down, it creates tiny particles called microplastics which can be extremely harmful to sea life.
Gumbo Limbo’s rehabilitation team continues to work with other washback victims, and hopes they will recover and survive.
The poor turtle in the story is just one of millions of sea creatures who are suffering as a result of humans.