Right now, 47 rescued baby turtles in Cape Town, South Africa, urgently need help. After eating more than 500 pieces of plastic between them, mistaking the tiny pieces for food, plus suffering other injuries, expensive and long-term care is needed to ensure they survive.
It’s vital that these hatchlings get the treatment they need – turtles are endangered and every life lost will push the species closer to extinction. We need to urgently raise $3,500 (£2,600) to give them this chance.
From day one, the endangered loggerhead and leatherback turtle hatchlings, born on the northern coast of South Africa, have the odds stacked against them. Only two in every thousand will survive the arduous journey as they are swept down the coastline to the chilly waters of the southern coast. Here, many are washed ashore, suffering from dehydration and hypothermia. But now, the lives of these fragile babies are even more at risk because of the amount of plastic they swallow along the way.
Recent estimates show that there are 6.5 million sea turtles left in the world. But plastic waste in the ocean is threatening their survival. There is an estimated 12.7 million tons of plastic in the ocean – most of it broken down into tiny bits of plastics, known as microplastics. These float on the water surface, which baby turtles mistake as food. When too many of these microplastics are ingested, it causes blockages, exhaustion, infections and death.
One baby turtle died after ingesting 121 pieces of plastic in its short life.
We have a chance to save the rest!
Our partner, the Two Oceans Aquarium Education Foundation in Cape Town, works on the ground to rescue stranded turtle hatchlings and nurse them to health until they can be released back into the ocean. ASI has pledged to help them, but we need your support.
Already, the Two Oceans Foundation has rescued 60 stranded hatchlings this year, of which 70% had plastic inside of them. In one turtle hatchling, the team discovered 121 pieces of plastic! Of course, he had no chance of survival and died shortly after being rescued. Sadly, 13 of the rescued turtle hatchlings could not be saved, but the remaining 47 have a chance of recovering and being released back into the ocean where they can live for up to 80 years!
We have promised to provide support, but we need your help to do so.
Please donate generously today.
It costs just $2 (£1.50) a day to raise and rehabilitate one baby turtle, and it can take up to a year before the turtle is ready to be released into the wild. That is $730 (£527) per turtle. With only two in every 1,000 turtle hatchlings surviving to maturity, each one of these saved hatchlings is vital to their species.
Right now, the 47 rescued hatchlings are being cared for at the Foundation’s rehabilitation center. Each one needs constant care, food and monitoring in a high-tech saltwater life-support system if they are to survive long enough to be released back into the ocean.
Will you be a part of ensuring their recovery? Please help us to save this fragile species, by donating right now.