This is the moment a vulnerable sea turtle which had been found defecating plastic as its stomach was full of litter is released back into the ocean after completing its recovery.
The loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), which was named Teresa, was found off the coast of southern Spain’s Almeria province in the Andalusia region in a serious condition, suffering from anaemia and pneumonia.
The turtle’s stomach was reportedly full of plastic waste and it was taken to the Equinac NGO which looks after stranded marine wildlife in the province.
The organisation looked after the turtle which was reportedly defecating plastic daily until it had returned to health through correct feeding with small soft fish.
Tests showed the animal had recovered and the video shows Teresa being released back into the ocean from a boat off the coast of Cabo de Gata.
The turtle can be seen flapping the air before it is dropped into the sea and swims away.
Eva Maria Moron, the coordinator of Equinac, told Newsflash: “Teresa had two health issues, one of them was pneumonia and the huge amount of plastic it had eaten.
“The X-ray did not show the plastic in her stomach but it was found out that she had that problem when she started to defecate plastic two or three days after coming into the centre.”
Moron said the turtle “spent seven days defecating plastic,” adding that the team increased the turtle’s body temperature by using an expensive electrical system to increase the temperature of the water in the pool it was being kept in.
The team had to wait for the seawater temperatures in the wild to increase before releasing the turtle into shallow waters after a month of recovery.
The main threats to loggerhead sea turtles are plastics in the sea and fishing nets.
The species, which can grow to up to 450 kilogrammes (1,000 lbs) in weight, is listed as ‘Vulnerable’ on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List.
The Spanish Civil Guard said any beachgoers who find a stranded turtle should call the emergency services immediately.
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