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Leatherback Turtle found on Marazion beach died with plastic in stomach

This 1.8m Leatherback Turtle was found washed up on Marazion Beach on Sunday Credit: University of Exeter

An autopsy on a Leatherback Turtle found on a Cornish beach has found it's plastic in it's stomach.

The 1.8 metre sea creature was found washed up on Marazion Beach on Sunday (12 August).

All turtles examined by the University of Exeter team now have plastic in their stomachs Credit: University of Exeter

Leatherback turtles are known to swallow plastic bags which they are thought to confuse with their natural jellyfish prey. We can confirm that this is not what killed this animal. She had partially digested food inside, as well as a piece of clear plastic. It is unfortunate that almost all turtles examined now around the world have plastic in their gut.

– Professor Brendan Godley, leader of Exeter University’s marine strategy
It's believe this turtled died after being hit with a boat propeller Credit: University of Exeter

Scientists say the plastic did not kill the turtle but say it is found in "almost all" turtles examined and it shows further proof of widespread pollution in our seas.

The University of Exeter team who carried out the examination believe the creature was killed by a boat propeller.

Researchers at the Penryn campus are asking people who use boats to be more careful as more Leatherback Turtles are likely to be in Cornish waters this time of year.

It's thought this particular turtle came all the way from the Caribbean attracted to the number of jellyfish our seas right now.

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