A green sea turtle that washed up on a beach in Bali last week reportedly died on Tuesday. Local authorities suspect that it may have died due to accumulated plastic in its digestive system.
“From the necropsy, all its other organs appear normal but in the intestines there were fishing lines, plastic,” Permana Yudiarso, who heads the Coastal and Marine Resources Management Center (BPSPL) in Denpasar, told Kumparan.
The turtle was found near Kelang Beach in Badung regency by a patrol team from the Indonesian Navy last Friday. They tried to release it further to the ocean, but the turtle only floated and did not try to swim away.
It was then taken to the Turtle Conservation and Education Center in Serangan, Denpasar, and medically examined by a team of veterinarians, who found parasites clinging onto its body.
“The plastic may have caused obstruction, twisting and trauma in its digestive system,” Yudi said, as quoted by Kompas.
He also pointed to how this indicates that Indonesians are still dumping waste in the ocean and harming the ecosystem.
BPSPL is still conducting further examination of samples taken from the turtle to confirm its cause of death.
The green turtle, or chelonia mydas, is a protected species under a 1999 Government Regulation on preserving flora and fauna species. This species of large sea turtle is listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).