If there’s one very good reason not to litter, Peanut the turtle is it! The red-eared slider was found and rescued in Missouri after she became stuck in a plastic ring of a six-pack holder that someone had carelessly tossed away. She grew up with the “noose” around her shell, which led to the physical deformity you see in the photo below!
It’s estimated that the plastic ring had been around Peanut’s shell for 4 to 5 years before she was saved in 1993. The plastic was finally cut away, but she could not be returned to the wild because her deformity had affected her health and put her at risk. Instead, the little turtle took on an important role for conservationists – that of educator!
For the past 20 years, Peanut has been the public face to anti-litter campaigns in Missouri state and their ongoing “No MOre Trash” campaign. Images of Peanut have also circulated widely on the Internet spreading her message far and wide.
That careless, lazy act could have such a profound effect on a living creature…it’s a very important message for people to be made aware of and I’m glad Peanut is championing it!
Peanut’s story will hopefully make people think twice about throwing out any piece of garbage, especially the nasty plastic can holder rings. Personally, I cut mine into tiny pieces before I discard them knowing that they often ensnare marine animals, birds and other wildlife.