A major oil spill on the affected Mediterranean coast of Israel at the end of February. As a result, tons of tar lumps were washed up on the beaches and many animals were covered with tar and also got tar in their mouths and throat.
The latter causes the animals to suffer a painful death, but the Israeli National Sea Turtle Rescue Center has found a simple, albeit time-consuming, solution. You simply feed the sea turtles with mayonnaise.
The mayonnaise dissolves the tar in the throat and at the same time gives the turtles the nutrition they need. After a few days, the tar has disappeared and the turtles can return to their normal diet and be released in places that have not been affected by the discharge.
Without treatment, turtles would hardly survive.
- They come in here with a layer of tar all over their heads, in their eyes, nostrils, mouth and stomach. With those injuries, they have no chance of surviving without treatment, says Yaniv Levy, head of the National Sea Turtle Rescue Center, in a comment to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.
It is primarily young sea turtles, under 18 months old, that enter the National Sea Turtle Rescue Center. They live on small animals found in the algae belts and are used to floating around on things that can get caught in the algae belts. Unfortunately, it causes them to see lumps of tar as something they can float on and when it tries to get on them, they are covered in tar.
Hundreds of sea turtles have been damaged by the tar, but the treatment with mayonnaise works well. In a couple of months, most people will hopefully swim around in the Mediterranean again and grow big.