A blog set out to explore, archive & relate plastic pollution happening world-wide, while learning about on-going efforts and solutions to help break free of our addiction to single-use plastics & sharing this awareness with a community of clean water lovers everywhere!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Sea turtle undergoes op to have STRAW removed from nose

Published August 15, 2015 b Chris Gee in the Mirror

A group of marine biologists have been filmed performing a heartbreaking operation to remove a foreign object from the nose of a sea turtle.

The creature, which was found during a conservation mission in Costa Rica, had the full length a of five-inch plastic straw lodged within its tiny nostril.

Christine Figgener, a biologist, filmed the eight minute sequence as the team struggle to ease the turtle's distress .

At first the team believe the foreign object obstructing the airway is a parasitic worm, but it soon becomes apparent that the item is a man-made plastic drinking straw.
YouTube Plastic straw removed from turtle's nose by marine biologists
Ease the distress: A plastic straw removed from turtle's nose by marine biologists
The male Olive Ridley sea turtle winces and sneezes as the team attempt to remove the straw with tweezers.
Heart rending scenes ensue as they struggle to pull out the firmly lodged straw.

Ms Figgener said the the decision to intervene while at sea was unavoidable.

She said: "We were on the ocean a few hours away from the coast and several hours away from any vet and x-ray machines.

"Plus, we would have incurred a penalty on ourselves by removing the turtle since that is beyond our research permits."

The turtle was bleeding slightly and obviously uncomfortable but relief soon happens.
YouTube Plastic straw removed from turtle's nose by marine biologists
Mission accomplished: Part of the plastic straw
Finally the team get sufficient purchase on the straw to remove it.

"The bleeding stopped pretty much immediately after the removal of the straw," said Ms Figgener.
"He did very obviously not enjoy the procedure very much, but we hope that he is now able to breathe more freely."

The turtle was left to recover and dressed with disinfectant before being released, hopefully to live a more comfortable existence.

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