Critically Endangered Sea Turtle Found Dead With Beach Chair String Wrapped Around Its Neck
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An endangered sea turtle has been found washed up on a beach in Alabama, United States, having apparently died after a beach chair became tangled around its neck.
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
A photo of the poor creature was shared on the Facebook page for conservation group Fort Morgan Share the Beach, captioned: "This Kemps Ridley which is on the endangered list was found this morning with this chair around it's neck.
"This makes me so mad. How many hundreds of times do we have to ask people to pick their stuff up? It should just be common decency. I think I am going to print this out and carry it with me next time I have to ask."
In a comment, Fort Morgan Share the Beach explained that the chair had barnacles on it, and it looked as though it had been in the water for some time.
One Facebook user commented: "And people get mad because some beaches don't let you have sunshade tents. This is why! Pick up your crap! It's yours and nobody elses! YOUR responsibility!"
Another wrote: "Please, please. Only leave footprints. How do we make visitors understand this? Perhaps we need to ask high school kids or seniors to volunteer on our beautiful beaches to tell adults and others visiting our beautiful island to keep it clean."
Someone else said: "I think the people who leave more than their footprints don't care what happens or who it happens to. If I see things left or trash I carry them off of the beach. Trash in trash cans and forgotten stuff is taken up to the road where we rinse off. Sea creatures don't have a chance.
According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Kemps Ridley Sea Turtle is currently classified as critically endangered.
Explaining the reasons for its status, the website explains: "The decline of this species is primarily due to human activities, including the direct harvest of adults and eggs and incidental capture in commercial fishing operations," the website explains.
"Today, under strict protection, we are cautiously optimistic that the population is on its way to recovery."
Two hours later, the Fort Morgan Share the Beach also posted another more graphic photo of the deceased sea turtle, taken by Matt Ward, a research assistant at Florida State University Department of Earth Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences.
In the picture, the turtle had been flipped back to its right side up and posed next to the upright chair - the string visibly cutting into the animal's bloody neck.
The post read: "'This is why we ask people to 'Leave Only Footprints', 'Leave No Trace', pick up after themselves when they leave the beach."