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Thai turtle's plastic-filled stomach highlights ocean crisis

AFP  |  Bangkok 

Startling images of shreds, and other found jammed in the stomach of a green turtle in have highlighted the crisis of waste-strewn seas following the widely publicised death of a this month.

is one of the world's largest consumers of plastic, which kills hundreds of marine mammals and reptiles swimming off its coasts every year.

The problem grabbed public attention in the first week of June when an autopsy of a dead pilot found near the border with revealed 80 bags inside its stomach.

The green turtle, a protected species, suffered a similar fate after washing up on a beach in the eastern province of on June 4, Weerapong Laovechprasit, a at the Eastern Marine and Coastal Resource Research and Development Centre, told AFP.

Plastic, rubber bands, pieces of balloon and other rubbish had filled the turtle's intestinal tract, leaving it unable to eat and causing its death two days later.

"It was feeling weak and couldn't swim," Weerapong said. "The main cause of death is the trash."

Veterinarians discovered the blockage using X-rays and tried to save the turtle by feeding it intravenously, but were only able to extract the garbage after its death.

Weerapong said that in the past about 10 percent of the green turtles stranded on beaches in the area had ingested or suffered infections after coming into contact with the waste, but this year about 50 percent of the incidents were trash-related.

More than half of the eight million tonnes of plastic waste dumped into the world's oceans every year comes from five Asian countries: China, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand, according to a 2015 report.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, June 11 2018. 13:35 IST
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