Plastic ingestion caused leatherback turtle’s death


The dead leatherback turtle found in Gozo died from pneumonia, due to the plastic she ingested weakening her.

Leatherback turtles are susceptible to plastic, as they are the only type of turtle consuming jellyfish and similar creatures. It often mistakes plastic discarded at sea for jellyfish.

ERA published a press release explaining the leatherback turtle’s cause of death after Dr Anthony Gruppetta checked it in Nature Trust’s name.

The turtle was found between Qala and Comino. The last time this kind of endangered turtle was sighted here was in 2015.


This turtle is the most widespread species around the world. It can tolerate cold waters, unlike other reptiles, due to the enormous size of its body, its circulatory system and the high oil content in its body.

This particular turtle was still young, however, it weighed 190kgs. These kinds of turtles can grow to weigh 900kgs.