3 Jul 2008

American Samoa alarmed at turtle poisoning

3:06 pm on 3 July 2008

A young hawkbills turtle found dead near the village of Aua in American Samoa appears to have been poisoned by garbage.

An autopsy has shown the animal's stomach contained plastics, rubber bands, twine, bottle caps and Lego pieces.

The Samoa News newspaper quotes a biologist saying that these foreign objects poisoned the turtle and caused its death.

Tissue samples of the turtle are being sent off-island to the U.S. for further analysis.

The turtle's death has led to a call for the public to promptly report turtle sightings on a 24-hour telephone hotline.

Government officials have reiterated their call for the community not to throw debris, especially plastics, into the ocean, because it destroys marine life.