Israel uses mayonnaise to save turtles hit by the oil spill
After an oil spill mirrored a large amount of waste along Israel’s coastal coast, countless sea turtles were rescued by the competent authorities. According to a report published by the BBC, the animals are now being treated with mayonnaise.
According to officials at Israel’s National Sea Turtle Rescue Center, the condiment, commonly used in world cuisine, helps to cleanse the reptile’s digestive system.
As exposed by the international media, oil spills are common in Israel and, for this reason, they are considered one of the biggest environmental disasters in the history of the country. Regarding the last spill that occurred on Israel’s coastal coast, the local authorities, so far, cannot say the reason that caused the incident. The case is still being investigated.
Even without clues, the authorities investigating the case believe that the spill may have originated from a vessel on the high seas. Since the incident occurred, both volunteers and soldiers in the country have joined forces to remove the oily substance, which, as is known, causes several damages to the fauna of Israel – including sea turtles, which are currently threatened with extinction.
In an interview with the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, the founder and director of the National Sea Turtle Rescue Center, Yaniv Levy, said that at the moment, about 27 turtles are receiving adequate treatment. Of all the reptiles that were rescued, six are severely affected by the oil.
“They all arrived here with a layer of oil on their heads and eyes, nostrils, mouth, digestive system, and stomach,” said Levy. “With this type of damage, they have no chance of surviving without treatment. We removed the oil from the nostrils and eyes so they could breathe and see ”.
As reported by the BBC, the team responsible for treating sea turtles has adhered to the use of vegetable oil to fine-tune the petroleum residue, while mayonnaise has been used to dilute the substance, which helps remove petroleum oil from the walls of stomachs and intestines of reptiles.
“They came to us covered in oil. With the digestive system full of oil inside and out, ”said Guy Ivgy, a veterinary assistant, to the Associated Press. “We continue to feed them with mayonnaise, which practically cleans the entire system and manages to break up the oil residues”.
According to information published by international news portals, sea turtles are expected to take between seven and fifteen days to fully recover. If all goes as planned, after that period, the reptiles must be returned to their natural habitat.
Although using mayonnaise in treatments is not common, this is not the first time that the condiment has been used by experts to save turtles. According to the BBC, the Turtle Hospital in Florida, United States, believes that mayonnaise is the most “safe, non-toxic and efficient way to clean oil-covered turtles”.
Currently, the rapid rise in ocean temperatures and changes in currents, both caused by climate change, are putting these animals at risk.
According to a study by Greenpeace, “these changes mean that countless species of turtles have to travel more and, with that, the extra energy spent causes the number of eggs they lay in each season to reduce the size of the population”.
On the coast of French Guiana, the number of eggs laid by sea turtles is approximately 100 times lower.