Sat, Aug 04, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Kinmen turtles excrete rubbish after their rescue

By Wu Cheng-ting and Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A green sea turtle, found to have been excreting plastic bags, is examined by a specialist at the Fisheries Research Institute in Kinmen on Wednesday.

Photo courtesy of Kinmen County Government

A green sea turtle in Kinmen has been excreting plastic bags, which it mistook for seaweed, every day since it was discovered on July 26, the Kinmen County Government said on Wednesday.

The turtle was found in Liaoluo Port and a blood test revealed that it had elevated creatinine levels, which researchers suspect was caused by a boat striking its shell, the county government said.

Previous records show that an average of one green sea turtle — most of the time dead — is discovered in Kinmen each year, it said, adding that in a rare case last year, a live one was found.

However, between July 26 and Tuesday, the coast guard and local people found three injured green sea turtles in the area, it said.

A second green sea turtle was found near the Tashan Power Plant on July 27, while the third was found in Liaoluo Port on Tuesday, the county government said.

Blood tests from the second and third turtles showed higher-than-normal liver enzyme levels, which might have been caused by schistosoma, also known as snail fever, it said.

The two turtles showed signs of malnutrition and had bite marks on their flippers, it said, adding that they were both constipated and one of them on Wednesday excreted a fishing net.

After receiving treatment, the three green sea turtles were in a stable condition, and are temporarily being sheltered at the county’s Fisheries Research Institute, it said.

This incident shows that waste is severely threatening the survival of marine life, it said.

The county government urged the public to protect the environment and report unusual sea turtle activity.

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