Plastic bags and plastic pollution kills and maims hundreds of thousands of reptiles and other animals every year.
A turtle in a Melbourne, Fla. retention pond has gotten a second lease on life after Julie Foster, the city’s energy program manager noticed a plastic bag swimming across the pond. She then noticed that it was a turtle swimming and the plastic bag was somehow attached to it. Foster contacted two public works employees who used a pitchfork to remove the turtle from the pond, and then proceeded to remove the bag from the turtle before returning the turtle to the pond.
“It seemed like the bag was almost melted around him, so it had been there for a while,” Foster told the Brevard County Reporter. “It may be about something as simple as ‘just a turtle,’ but it’s really about a bigger picture,” Foster said.
Plastic and plastic bags are detrimental to the environment when not disposed of properly. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, hundreds of thousands of animals die or are maimed each year by plastic bags and plastic trash that end up in the environment. Sea turtles are known to ingest all manner of plastic, mistaking plastic for sea jellies, or jellyfish.
Peanut, a red-eared slider who is also the state of Missouri’s Departments’ of Conservation (MDC) and Transportation’s (MoDOT) No More Trash! campaign mascot, was found with a six pack ring around her shell, which deformed it as she grew. Keep this in mind when buying things. Do you really need a single use plastic bag when checking out at the store? Or can you carry the item without a bag?
John Virata keeps a western hognose snake, a ball python, two corn snakes, a king snake, and two leopard geckos. His first snake, a California kingsnake, was purchased for $5. His first pet reptile was a green anole that arrived in a small box via mail order. Follow him on Twitter @johnvirata