Shock as hatchlings pulled from plastic shoe


TURTLE hatchlings have been heartbreakingly pulled from a plastic shoe in Costa Rica.

Marine scientist Charlie Pinson shared shocking footage of three hatchlings being removed from a Croc after their nest was excavated.

In the video, the hatchlings' heads are stuck in the holes of the Croc.

The babies look barely alive, and one of them was left with a broken flipper.

The rescuers from Caño Palma Biological Station use a pocket knife to cut the plastic away from the hatchlings and free them before they made their way down the beach.

"The plastic pollution on the beaches here is some of the worst I've ever seen," Mr Pinson said.

"The nest in which we found these guys was chosen for excavation at random and was one of over 25,000 laid on Playa Tortuguero this season."


Three hatchlings stuck in a Croc.
Three hatchlings stuck in a Croc.


A turtle’s head is stuck in one of the holes.
A turtle’s head is stuck in one of the holes.

The Tortuguero National Park is a significant turtle nesting site in Costa Rica.

"These guys were trapped inside a Croc under about 30cm of sand, so you just KNOW that there are other baby turtles that we can't see trapped below the surface having met a similar fate," Mr Pinson said.

"Naturally, only about one in 1000 sea turtles reach sexual maturity. Naturally.

"When you hear about plastic pollution being one of the biggest threats to marine life, this isn't typically what you think of. But here it is.

"These guys never would have even seen the light of day if we didn't find them."


The turtles are safely released.
The turtles are safely released.

Mr Pinson said thankfully all three of the hatchlings were alive and made it to the water. "However, one of them appears to have put up such a struggle before we found it that it injured its flipper and stands an even smaller chance of survival," he said.

The station also shared the video to Instagram, saying it was heartbreaking to see the impact of plastic waste.

"The problem is so much greater than we witness," they said.

The Caño Palma Biological Station is a privately run not-for-profit biological research station located in the tropical coastal rainforests of Costa Rica.