Marine life experts use two endangered turtles rescued from plastic pollution and fishing nets to educate beachgoers in Argentina.
The green sea turtles were rescued after becoming caught in artisanal fishing nets.
The pair spent a month rehabilitating at a rescue centre before being released back into the ocean.
But before they swam out to sea, experts from the Fundacion Mundo Marino used them to demonstrate the dangers of plastic waste to ocean life.
In the footage, children are seen being taught what to do with their rubbish rather than just leave it on the beach.
Then – to tremendous applause from the large crowd – the turtles are released back into the Atlantic Ocean from the beach in San Clemente del Tuyu on 5th January.
The images were obtained from Argentina’s Fundacion Mundo Marino, the largest oceanarium in South America.
The foundation said in a statement obtained by Newsflash that the “two marine reptiles were rescued after getting caught in the nets of artisanal fishermen.”
The organisation added: “During the rehabilitation period of almost a month at the Fundacion Mundo Marino, one of them expelled plastic. Finally, they were returned to the sea on the beaches of San Clemente.”
The Fundacion Mundo Marino explained that the “fishermen were trained by the Mundo Marino Foundation to provide first aid to these animals when found in these conditions and thus collaborate in the conservation of the endangered species.”
The rehabilitation process included evaluating how well the turtles could swim and blood samples being taken.
Mauro Pergazere – a veterinarian from the Mundo Marino Educational Park and the Mundo Marino Foundation – found that one of them had a high level of white blood cells and anaemia.
It later turned out that one of the turtles had swallowed plastic, with the vet saying: “We did not see foreign bodies of considerable structure in the X-rays.
“That is why it later caught our attention that one of them, the one that was admitted on 8th December, and that even showed normal blood parameters, defecated plastic.”
The vet added that luckily it was only a small amount but 96 per cent of green turtles they treat are found to have ingested plastic.
Green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) are listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
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