By:
23-09-2015

A Turtle With Something Unusual Jammed In Its Nostril

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If a graphic example is needed of the damage caused to marine wildlife by the endless tide of rubbish and plastic waste being poured into our oceans, the sad plight of this turtle demonstrates clearly the individual cost of people’s thoughtlessness.

A team of biologists was carrying out research off the coast of Costa Rica when they spotted a turtle that appeared to be in distress. The animal was an Olive Ridley turtle, the species that is famous for its mass synchronised beach nesting, known as arribidas. Olive Ridley turtles are also called Pacific Ridley turtles and they are currently classified as a vulnerable species globally, with many national listings classifying it as threatened or endangered.
The turtle that the research team found was visibly struggling to breathe and on closer inspection they found that something appeared to be lodged inside its left nostril. Using a pair of pliers and holding the animal down, they gently pulled on the obstruction.
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At first they assumed that the object was a parasite, such as a hookworm or tubeworm. As they pulled more and more out, the nostril started bleeding and the turtle became agitated and began struggling and hissing. The research team were concerned that they might be damaging the poor turtle’s brain by having to pull so hard that blood poured from its nose and decided to simply cut off the part that was sticking out and stop their attempt to remove the whole thing. On examining the long, tubular material that they had cut off, they changed their minds when they recognised the black and white striped object and realised that it was a plastic straw. They decided to persevere and pull out the whole length of the straw, even though it was very firmly lodged in the turtle’s nostril. It took some time and a great deal of hard pulling to remove the piece of plastic debris but they agreed that leaving it inside the nostril would probably have been fatal for the sea creature.
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