An endangered sea turtle was found washed up dead on an Alabama beach. The marine animal appears to have been strangled by a beach chair string.
Strangled By Beach Chair
Photos shared by Matt Ware, from Florida State University, and reposted by the Fort Morgan Share the Beach conservation group on Facebook show the sad fate of the sea turtle.
It was tangled with a beach chair that bore the logo of the University of Alabama. The dead Kemp's Ridley turtle washed up ashore at the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge and found Friday morning.
"This is why we ask people to 'Leave Only Footprints', 'Leave No Trace', pick up after themselves when they leave the beach," Ware wrote.
"This endangered Kemp's Ridley sea turtle was found during morning turtle patrol strangled by a beach chair. Please be responsible when visiting the beach — you are not the only one who uses it."
Share the Beach spokesperson Debbie Harbin said that the chair had barnacles on it, which means that it had already been in the water for a while.
Plastic Wastes And Debris In The Ocean
Experts have long warned about the dangers that plastic trash pose to marine animals, particularly sea turtles.
A 2017 study conducted by researchers from the University of Exeter in the UK showed that hundreds of marine turtles die each year after they become entangled in discarded wastes in the oceans and beaches. These trash include fishing gears and plastic "six pack" holders.
Hatchlings and young sea turtles are in particular susceptible to getting tangled up. These young turtles tend to ride on ocean currents to zones where floating waste are concentrated. They also set up their home near floating debris and live there for years.
"Entanglement in plastic and other pollution could pose a long term impact on the survival of some turtle populations and is a greater threat to them than oil spills," study researcher Brendan Godley said.
The researcher also urged to public to reduce plastic waste and go for biodegradable alternatives.
Most Endangered Of Sea Turtle
The Kemp's Ridley turtle is the most endangered sea turtle, according to the World Wildlife Fund. They are threatened by habitat loss, climate change and pollution. The species has been included in the endangered species list since 1970.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will perform a necropsy to determine the cause of the animal's death.