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By: Sarah Sharkey
A young leatherback sea turtle was found dead in Shinnecock East County Park in Southampton
earlier this summer. Although the official cause of death is not known, it probably had
something to do with the 13-gallon plastic bag found in its stomach.
According to Rachel Bosworth, a member of the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society, it is very
likely that the cause of death was the ingestion of plastics. The biologists that performed the
necropsy found a large plastic bag, many smaller plastic bags and food wrappers.
Plastic bags are a huge problem for sea turtles because the floating plastic resembles their
favorite food closely. Imagine if you saw a plastic bag floating on the surface, wouldn’t it look
like a jelly fish? That is exactly what turtles are thinking when they eat this garbage.
Sea turtles are just one of the marine species that are susceptible to death by plastic. It is
pervasive problem in our oceans and it only seems to be getting worse. Around the world we
are finding more and more animals with serious health problems due to plastic ingestion.
Unfortunately, many of these animal die because of the trash that is throw into their home.
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