SYDNEY -- A marine biologist says a green sea turtle that washed ashore in Australia likely starved to death after swallowing 317 pieces of plastic.
Rochelle Ferris with Australian Seabird Rescue says a necropsy on the turtle found fishing line, packing tape, lolly pop sticks, lids and a variety of plastic bags.
She said the turtle's digestive system became impacted with material it couldn't digest and the animal slowly starved.
The 15-inch (40 centimeter) turtle was found earlier this month at Ballina, on the New South Wales far north coast.
Ferris said she was aware of 40 to 50 turtles suffering from plastic ingestion each year, but this was "the worst case we've seen."