Veterinarians realized the turtle had some serious and immediate health problems. After a few days, the turtle started pooping out the trash, along with pieces of nylon bags and hard plastics.
There's a phrase that says, 'What goes in must come out'. This adage played out quite literally for a rescued green turtle that ate human trash and pooped it out later with the help of a veterinarian, reported IFL Science. The turtle was initially found tangled in the net of Roberto Ubieta, a fisherman from San Clemente del Tuyú. Ubieta received his training from the Mundo Marino Foundation on how to help marine reptiles trapped in fishing nets. When he saw the poor animal all tangled up, he immediately got to work helping the turtle.
When Ubieta brought the reptile to the rescue center of the San Clemente Institution on December 29, veterinarians there realized the turtle had some serious and immediate health problems. After a few days, the turtle arrived at the center, the animal started pooping out the trash, along with pieces of nylon bags and hard plastics. The turtle was sent for an x-ray and it was found that the turtle had garbage in its belly, most likely because the poor animal mistook the trash as its food which is similar to jellyfish, seagrasses, and worms.
Ignacio Peña, the veterinarian at the Mundo Marino Foundation, released a statement saying, "Therefore, we began treatment with a medication that favors its peristaltic movements (movements of the digestive tract) and allows it to eliminate what we observed on the [X-ray] plates." In total, the green turtle defecated 13 grams. Thankfully, the green turtle is doing much better. Peña said, "Today, the turtle is eating green leaves, mainly lettuce and seaweed." This is the third turtle that was brought to the foundation and the same fisherman, who found and rescued the green turtle, found a dead green turtle on January 12. An autopsy revealed that turtle had plastic in its digestive system.
Another turtle that was rescued, survived, but a piece of nylon bag was found in its excreta. The foundation also said that animals mistake trash for food is at a big risk for death. Karina Álvarez, biologist and conservation manager at the Mundo Marino Foundation said, "In addition, a large amount of gas could be generated … [as a] product of the accumulated plastic. Which would affect their ability to dive and immerse, both to feed and to find more suitable temperatures."
The green turtle is one of the largest species of sea turtles. They are found in tropical and subtropical waters and according to the World Wildlife Fund, these animals are a part of the endangered species list, especially because of humans who overharvest their eggs and hunt the adult turtles. Another reason why green turtles are facing habitat loss is that they are constantly getting tangled in fishing gear.