Bob the turtle recovers after pooping out plastic balloons

2016-03-11 14:48
Bob the turtle. (Two Oceans Aquarium)

Bob the turtle. (Two Oceans Aquarium)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town – A green turtle is finally paddling its way to recovery almost one and half years after he was discovered injured on a beach in the De Hoop Nature Reserve, just outside of Cape Town in November 2014.

The sub-adult green turtle was weak, dehydrated and had two fractures on his bottom shell when he was first found by Lieze Swart of the Department of Environmental Affairs (Oceans and Coasts).

The injured reptile was subsequently brought to the Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town which also takes in injured marine animals to nurse back to health and release back into the ocean.

The turtle was named Bob due to its tendency to “bob” around the tank. He joined two other green turtles already in the rehabilitation programme.

“It was very tiring in the beginning,” recalled Kevin Spiby, an aquarist at the Two Oceans Aquarium, “But as he started to heal, it was very nice to see that all our hard work had paid off.”

He added that a turtle’s healing and recovery process was very slow.

Bob was first examined, bandaged with waterproof duct tape and moved to a freshwater pool to swim and rehydrate. Although the fracture site was cleaned and changed daily, it became infected and the turtle lost sight in both eyes. He also showed signs of neurological damage due to the infection.

“After a long course of antibiotics, he showed signs of progress, with full sight returning to one eye and partial sight to the other eye,” said Spiby.

Almost three months after Bob was brought to the aquarium, a pile of plastic was discovered in his faeces, including pieces of balloons, a ribbon, plastic and black bags.

“The amount of plastic that he passed was very scary. Bob was very lucky that this all passed through without causing any issues. It could have very easily caused a blockage or perforated the gut.”

“All these bits of plastic were considered as food by Bob,” explained Spiby, “this shows us how susceptible turtles and other marine life are to plastic pollution.”

Bob is currently still in rehabilitation and will be released once he has recovered fully.

Watch Bob's recovery journey here:

Read more on:    cape town  |  pollution  |  marine life

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.