Turtle Got Stuck in a Piece of Plastic. You Won’t Believe What Happened to It after 19 Years

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In a poignant reminder of the devastating impact of plastic pollution on wildlife, a snapping turtle named May West faced a life-altering ordeal that unfolded over 19 years. Plastic pollution, a pervasive global issue since the mass production of plastic began in the 1950s, has reached alarming levels, with over 460 million tons of plastic produced in 2019 alone.

The dire consequences of plastic pollution are evident in our oceans, where 5.25 trillion macro and micro pieces of plastic now contaminate the waters. Disturbingly, every day witnesses around 8 million more pieces of plastic entering the oceans, causing irreparable harm to various ecosystems and endangering countless marine species.

May West’s story began in the 1990s when a young boy in Louisiana stumbled upon a snapping turtle with a peculiar hourglass-shaped shell. Closer inspection revealed that the turtle’s unique appearance was a result of a plastic loop from a milk carton constricting her shell. This plastic entanglement had been with May West since she was a baby, growing with her over the years.

Recognizing the urgency of the situation, the boy reported the distressed turtle to authorities. Animal rescuers intervened, and May West was transported to a veterinary facility where the plastic loop was carefully removed, granting her the freedom to breathe properly for the first time in two decades.

May West’s resilience and adaptability were astonishing, as she had grown around the plastic obstacle, shaping her body into an hourglass figure. While the turtle’s ability to survive with such a burden was remarkable, it shed light on the harsh reality of the dangers animals face due to improperly disposed of plastic.

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Given her compromised health, May West couldn’t be returned to the wild. Instead, she found a caring home with a handler in Louisiana, where she lived for two more decades. During this time, May West became a symbol of the threats animals face from plastic pollution, serving as an educational example for children and adults alike.

As May West’s handler aged, the decision was made to find her a new home. The star Eco Station in California, an environmental science museum and exotic wildlife rescue center, became her new haven. Founded in 1997, the station focuses on educating the public about environmental preservation and caring for at-risk exotic wildlife.

May West’s journey serves as a stark reminder of the urgent need to address plastic pollution globally. While her story had a fortunate outcome, countless animals continue to suffer due to our negligence. Supporting initiatives dedicated to curbing pollution is crucial to ensuring a healthier planet for both wildlife and future generations.

Source: https://animalheaven.us/18009/2024/01/25/

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