EnvironmentPlasticsThailand

Fishermen find dead leatherback turtle on Saun Son beach, Rayong

PHOTO: Department of Marine and Coastal Resources

A group of fishermen in Rayong, eastern Thailand, found a dead leatherback turtle on Saun Son beach in Rayong province on Friday.

Department of Marine and Coastal Resources officials estimate the dead turtle was about 10 years old and 79 x123 centimetres in size. The remains were already in a bad condition with the front left foot missing, two deep cuts on its upper back and one on the head. The parallel cuts are believed have been caused by a boat’s propeller. No microchip was found in the remains.

They also discovered some jellyfish, nine plastic bag pieces and other plastic waste in its stomach. It was apparent that the animal had not been eating well for some time, possibly as a result of ingesting the plastic.

They believe the death, however, resulted from the injuries sustained from the boat propeller.

DMCR officials say they found signs of bleeding in its respiratory system and a blood clot in its left lung, which indicated that it had bled to death.

Leatherback turtles are now a protected species in Thailand, following an announcement on May 29, along with Bryde’s and Omura’s whales and the whale shark.

ORIGINAL STORY: Thai PBS

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