A baby turtle washed up onto the Florida coastline in the United States and died after consuming 104 pieces of plastic while swimming in the ocean, Today reported on Wednesday. Whitney Crowder, a sea turtle rehabilitation coordinator for Gumbo Limbo Nature Center in Boca Raton, Florida, posted a photo of the deceased turtle on Facebook, which went viral.
“They eat little crustaceans that live in the floating seaweed, and they also eat algae in plant life, and these little pieces of plastic are just kind of floating, mixed in the seaweed, and by default, they’re eating the plastic,” Crowder told Today. “I think they’re just trying to eat to survive and not realizing that they’re eating something harmful.”
Crowder said in the Facebook post that all turtles who die on the coastline have plastic in their intestines. “It’s washback season at Gumbo Limbo and weak, tiny turtles are washing up along the coastline needing our help,” Crowder said. “Unfortunately, not every washback survives. 100% of our washbacks that didn’t make it had plastic in their intestinal tracts. This turtle, which would fit in the palm of your hand, had eaten 104 pieces of plastic.”