Dead Baby Turtle Found With 104 Pieces Of Plastic In Its Belly

A tiny turtle has died after ingesting more 100 pieces of plastic in just a few weeks of life.

The baby turtle had washed ashore on a Florida beach last week, and was found by workers from the Gumbo Limbo Nature Centre,

The turtle was alive when it was found, but died soon afterwards, Kristin Child, the environmental program coordinator for the GLNC, told U.S. broadcaster ABC News.

An autopsy was performed on the turtle believed to only be a few weeks old, and 104 pieces of plastic were removed from its stomach.

The pieces of plastic found inside the baby turtle. Image: Gumbo Limbo Nature Centre

The GLNC, 20-acre coastal preserve in Boca Raton, in south Florida, posted a photo of the baby turtle next to the pieces of plastic.

"This turtle, which would fit in the palm of your hand, had eaten 104 pieces of plastic," it said in the Facebook.

"This is a sad reminder that we all need to do our part to keep our oceans plastic free."

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The sea turtle nesting season runs from March 1 to October 31, and the GLNC has already seen about 100 baby turtles washed back on the beach, with many of those dying.

A wash back is a hatchling that has attempted to swim out to sea to find food, only to be washed back in to shore within a few weeks.

"Unfortunately, not every wash back survives,' the GLNC said, saying that all wash backs that died had plastic in their intestines.

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The GLNC attempt to save the turtle by flushing their systems with water to pass the plastic. But if they are not removed, they stay inside the turtle's stomach, making them feel full, so the turtle won't eat.