A group of marine biologists released a video showing the moment a plastic straw is removed from the nose of an endangered sea turtle. They decided to upload the video to Youtube to warn of the dangers of dumping rubbish in the sea.
The group was on an in-water research trip in Guanacaste, Costa Rica, when they found a male Olive Ridley sea turtle with what at first they thought was a parasitic worm burrowing into its nose.
After debating what to do, they decided to remove it. But when they removed part of the large object they realized it was in fact a plastic straw.
Warning: this video contains scenes some may find upsetting
The heartbreaking video has gone viral and has sparked a heated debate over the 8 minute-long extraction operation that left the poor turtle bleeding and clearly wincing in pain. Many have reacted angrily online, saying that the biologists were cruel and in fact caused more pain and discomfort to the sea turtle than if they hadn’t removed it.
However others have jumped to their defense, saying that if the straw was left in any longer it would have killed the turtle.
“He did very obviously not enjoy the procedure very much, but we hope that he is now able to breathe more freely, the biologists said.
“We disinfected the air passageway with iodine and kept the turtle for observation before releasing him back into the wild,” they added.
Green sea turtles are 50 per cent more likely to ingest some form of plastic than they were thirty years ago, a recent study revealed. They often end mistake items like plastic bags and straws for food, which can lead to this kind of blockages.
What do you think? Were the biologists correct in removing the obstructing straw from the Turtle’s nostril? Please share your feelings in the comments section below.