Cold-Stunned Sea Turtles Found with Plastics in System

Courtesy of Mass Audubon

SOUTH WELLFLEET-Researchers from Mass Audubon have begun performing necropsies to turtles that were cold-stunned and killed in Cape Cod Bay. So far, staff members have found plastics in the system of one turtle.

Similar to a result from last year, a Kemp’s ridley turtle swallowed a ribbon with several balloons attached to it. The balloon string ran through the animal’s GI tract, and another balloon was found in its small intestine.

While the turtle from this year as well as last year died due to the bay’s cold waters, the balloons could have killed them had it occurred in the summer. Because of this, Mass Audubon is urging residents to think carefully about the use of plastics, as results like this are not uncommon.

Necropsy sessions have taken place at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

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About Brendan Fitzpatrick

Brendan, a recent graduate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is one of the newest members of the NewsCenter team. When not on the beat, you'll probably find him watching Boston sports.
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