Every now and then, something happens that reminds us all just how much plastic we chuck into the ocean. There’s the photo of the pelican with a stomach full of garbage. There were the sperm whales that washed up with their guts full of plastic. There was the pilot whale with a belly full of trash and the turtle with the straw jammed in its nose. It happens every day. And here’s another one for you: in early June, a green sea turtle died in Thailand died after eating all sorts of weird shit.
On June 4th, the turtle washed up on a beach in Thailand’s eastern province of Chanthaburi. Rescuers took it to the Eastern Marine and Coastal Resource Research and Development Center, where veterinarians worked to figure out what was wrong with it. They took X-rays of it and fed the turtle intravenously but after two days, it died. Afterward, vets were able to have a better look inside it, and what they found was pretty damn disgusting. Plastic, rubber bands, pieces of balloon, and bits of fishing line, were among the trash the turtle mistook for food. The turtle’s intestinal tract was almost entirely filled with garbage.
According to Weerapong Laovechprasit, a veterinarian at the Eastern Marine and Coastal Resource Research and Development Center, in the past, about ten percent of the green sea turtles they find on the area’s beaches have eaten plastic. This year, however, that stat has skyrocketed to around 50 percent.