Dramatic video has emerged of a team of field biologists helping a sea turtle by removing a plastic fork from its nose at Ostional Beach in Costa Rica. Nathan Robinson, the Leatherback Trust's field director, was at the beach on 6 December with the Las Baulas research team to see the olive ridley sea turtle mass nesting event, according to the trust's communications manager Cameron McCosh.
While measuring one of the nesting olive ridley turtles, a Costa Rican tourist ran up to them and frantically asked if they could help a sea turtle that appeared to have something stuck in its nose. They quickly grabbed their equipment and ran over to see the turtle for themselves. On arrival, it was clear it was a plastic object.
After the fork was removed, the turtle paused for a few moments but then quickly began to move back to the ocean. Appearing healthy and active, the biologists watched as it entered the waves and swam away. McCosh also said that Robinson had removed a straw from a turtle's nose earlier in the summer. In both cases it was likely the plastic ended up in the creature's nose when it tried to regurgitate it.
McCosh added that many at the Trust fear that incidents like this will become more common as pollution, particularly the dumping of plastic debris in the sea, increases.
The Leatherback Trust is an international non-profit conservation organisation that protects sea turtle species from extinction. The Leatherback Trust leads efforts to ensure the recovery of critically endangered Eastern Pacific leatherback turtles and other imperilled sea turtle populations worldwide.