Plastic found in sea turtle

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In a tale that’s all too relevant this Plastic Free July, we recently took on a sick sea turtle patient at our Auckland Zoo Vet Hospital.

Flown in by the Department of Conservation from Ninety Mile Beach after being found by a concerned member of the public, this turtle’s shell was in the worst condition our vets had ever seen – completely wrapped in a thick blanket of moss and covered in goose barnacles that would make it difficult for a turtle to swim and indicated it had been unwell for a long time.

Once it arrived our vet team took X-rays, bloods and set the turtle up in an intensive care unit to start the process of nursing it back to health.

But sadly, this endangered turtle spent only two days with our Vet Hospital team before it finally succumbed to its condition. A post-mortem revealed it was emaciated with two bits of plastic found inside its intestines as well as a long piece of knotted twine and extensive sun damage to its shell.

This is an important message for all of us to clean up our oceans and choose to reuse. We’re doing out bit with our pledge to become single-use plastic water bottle free this July.