Mayonnaise Saves Turtles

Novel cleansing solution helps save endangered green sea turtles off Israel's coast after oil spill.

Following a devastating oil spill on the Israeli coastline last week, humans have been told to avoid the area but, sadly, wildlife doesn't have that luxury. Among the many animals at risk from the spill are endangered green sea turtles but, happily, an unexpected ingredient is being used to save endangered sea turtles in the region.

Volunteers from Israel’s National Sea Turtle Rescue Centre are feeding the green sea turtles mayonnaise to flush out their digestive tracts.

The oil and egg yolk-based ingredients are remarkably effective at cleaning the digestive system by breaking down the tar that has been ingested by many of these turtles. It’s especially helpful in cleaning tar out of the animals’ tracheas. So far, mayonnaise has been successfully used on 11 turtles receiving care at the rescue centre.

"We continue to feed them substances like mayonnaise, which practically clean the system and break down the tar," says Guy Ivgy, a medical assistant, adding that the turtles will hopefully be able to return back to the wild within a week or two thanks to this glorious emulsion.

Obviously, preventing oil spills in the first place would be the best form of protection, but when a disaster happens, it’s good to know that a kitchen staple like mayonnaise can be an effective solution.



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