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Baby turtle to be set free after swallowing plastic

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A baby loggerhead turtle who swallowed plastic and was discovered in a bad condition on Wurtulla Beach is set to be released this week.

The loggerhead turtle, named Spinny, has been doing rehabilitation at Sea Life Sunshine Coast after being rescued by members of the public on March 4.

The baby is under five centimetres long and only weighs 27grams.

Spinny was found covered in marine algae and open ocean barnacles, indicating the post-hatchling had emerged from a nesting beach further north of the Sunshine Coast.

The tiny turtle excreted microplastics for four days following its rescue, confirming suspicious of ingesting plastic.

Spinny will be released back into the ocean in the East Australian Current later this week.

Due to Spinny’s small size and vulnerability close to the shore, the team has chosen to release him out in the Pacific Ocean and are hitching a ride with Brisbane Marine Pilot Boats to make the trip.

Earlier in March, the Sea Life team team was unable to save a loggerhead turtle hatchling, named Pesto, who had also ingested a significant amount of microplastics.

Sunshine Coast Council, through its collaborative research agreement with the Queensland Turtle Conservation Project, is contributing to a global study on microplastics and marine turtles at the University of Exeter in the UK.