Life Through the Eyes of a Sea Turtle

Life Through the Eyes of a Sea Turtle

(chill music) – [Wes] This video of a sea turtle with a plastic straw stuck in its nose kick-started a global
movement to save the ocean. – This is arguably the most
famous straw in the world. – Yeah. Now, four years later, the scientist who removed that straw is onto something he thinks could have
an even bigger impact. (upbeat music) My name is Wes Larson and
I’m a wildlife biologist. Today I’m heading to the island
of Eleuthera in the Bahamas. Tiny little airport here. I’ve come all this way to learn about the beautiful green sea turtle from one of the world’s leading experts. Hey Nathan. – It’s a pleasure, how was your flight? – Good, it’s hot here. – Yeah, that’s what we get used
to down here in the Bahamas. – [Wes] Nathan Robinson
is a sea turtle researcher at the Cape Eleuthera Institute. Here, Nathan and his team use something called a TurtleCam to get a detailed look at their behavior and environment. – [Nathan] Understanding how a sea turtle moves through its environment, how it interacts with its
environment, is really important. If we understand the food they need, we understand what critical
habitats we can start to save, these are the areas
that we need to protect if we want to ensure
sea turtle populations are surviving into the future. – [Wes] Green sea turtles are endangered, and are facing a number of threats from climate change to ocean plastic. To better understand those
threats we’ll deploy a TurtleCam. And for that we need a turtle. – [Nathan] There he is. – I think I’ll be able to do it. – [Nathan] Start warming
up those swimming muscles. – [Wes] Give it my best shot, hopefully I won’t embarrass myself. – [Nathan] And go. (splashing) – [Man] Go Wes!
(cheering) – I wasn’t even close. – Sometimes the turtles win. We call this turtle rodeo
for obvious reasons. – [Wes] Believe it or not, the
safest and most efficient way to catch a sea turtle is by hand. And it’s not easy. – The first couple of people
are to just help tire them out. – [Wes] The team has to take turns chasing to wear the turtles down. And before I can even catch my breath it’s time for another go. (splashing) – [Nathan] Yeah, woo! The smaller they are the
faster they can swim. He’s getting closer, he’s getting closer. – [Man] Go Wes! – [Nathan] The turtle’s
ducking and weaving. Lovely chasing. There we go. – Got him.
– Yeah! (clapping) That was fantastic. His first ever turtle. He chased a lot too. Lovely stuff, Wes. – This is pretty cool. – His first turtle of the day. (chill music) We can actually get this turtle transferred over to this boat. – [Wes] Even though this turtle
is too small for a camera the team can still get some data from it. – [Nathan] There we go, 106. – [Wes] Sea turtles breathe
air, just like we do, so they’re perfectly
fine out of the water. But the team still works
as quickly as possible. – They won’t breathe continually as we do. They’ll breathe and hold their breath. You’ll see them lift up their head, take a big gulp, and go back down. – [Wes] The last step is to attach id tags that will help the team monitor the turtle for the rest of its life. – It’s like an ear piercing. We try to be as quick and
efficient as possible. So we have all the data we need. They have their tags. You have your first turtle. So would you like to give it a release? – I’d love to. – Yeah?
– Yeah. After the release, we’re
right back on the chase boat. We’ve only got a short amount of time if we wanna deploy a TurtleCam today. – There was a bigger guy that just went the other way, Nathan. – [Nathan] Big enough for our camera? – [Woman] Yes. – We saw a bigger turtle that
swam back into the creek, so we’re gonna turn around
and go chase that bigger one. (calm music) A few years ago, while
on a research expedition funded by Texas A&M University, Nathan had a life-changing experience. – I was filmed removing a plastic straw, actually this plastic straw, from the nostril of a sea turtle. And it ended up being a huge
aha moment in my career, a huge turning point. – [Wes] To date that video has been viewed over 60 million times. And led corporations like Starbucks to announce that they’re going
to phase out plastic straws. – This one video got
the whole world inspired to conduct a movement,
and now it’s difficult to go to most restaurants in
most countries of the world and get plastic straws. What I realized after this video was if you create some media that really engages
and shares that problem with a global audience,
that has the potential to enact real change. And I think that’s a perfect
goal for the TurtleCam project. This is engaging footage that gets people excited about these animals. – [Man] I see him. – [Wes] And then we spot the big one. – [Nathan] Go. (splashing) Go Wes! – [Wes] It’s giving us a fight. (chattering) – [Nathan] Oh he’s gone in the shallows. – [Wes] But in turtle
rodeo persistence pays off. – [Nathan] Oh, yes! (clapping)
Two for two. – Well done.
– All right. – [Nathan] That’s what we’re after. – Okay, I’m good on catching now. – That’s a perfect size. Nice, dude. Boom.
– Well done. – We got a big one. He didn’t make it easy, but we got him. – [Nathan] We got our TurtleCam turtle. – Back on the big boat the
team kicks into high gear. Installing a TurtleCam
is a bit of a process and the goal is to do it
as quickly as possible to avoid any unnecessary
stress on the turtle. The really exciting part about this is not knowing what you’re gonna see. The whole setup might look permanent but the TurtleCam is designed to pop off in a few hours, with the last traces of the mounting points
gone in about a week. (whooshing and gurgling) (upbeat music) – [Nathan] We have all these
initiatives around the world to try and protect marine areas. But if we don’t know
which areas to protect or what are the most
efficient areas to protect, we won’t be able to make good decisions. And that’s the kind of data that we can get out of the TurtleCam footage. – [Wes] Over the last year,
Nathan and the team have recorded over 200 hours of
footage with the TurtleCams. Soon enough, today’s camera detaches, and it’s time to track it down. (beeping) – [Nathan] Woo hoo! TurtleCam one retrieved. Happy days. – [Wes] With it safely aboard
we can head back to the lab and see what we’ve got on the tape. – So this is us, this is us
just turning on the camera. ‘Cause this is the
perfect camera placement, we can really get a
first-person perspective of how it’s viewing its whole world. (calm music) There’s 101 ways we
can analyze these data. There’s information we can
get about the sea turtle, its diving patterns, its feeding patterns, how they socialize, what
are important habitats for these animals, how much plastic they’re encountering in their realm, and how much coral reef are they seeing. And we can actually use the sea turtles to survey these habitats. – [Wes] It’s almost hypnotic
watching the TurtleCam. And it’s clear how this
footage inspires people. – When you hear about sea
turtles ingesting straws and plastic bags, that could
be any of us that is at fault. And getting people excited
about these animals is often the impetus people need to live a little bit more eco-friendly. Then if the whole world is onboard we’re gonna be successful. (chiming)

Randy Schultz

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49 thoughts on “Life Through the Eyes of a Sea Turtle

  1. Ayes says:

    Who else has Been Fan Before 2020??

    👇I’m Gifting My Next 19 Subscribers🤯
    With notifications On☑️

  2. Frici YT says:

    48 seconds ago first time looking at a video like tgis

  3. Just A Dio Who's A Hero For Fun says:

    Removing that straw must be the most satisfying experience for the Turtle

  4. ———————— says:

    oh yeah yeah

  5. Nga Hang says:

    I love turtles😊

  6. Mash K says:

    The first 10 seconds made me sick 🤢

  7. lalo kurd says:

    I like turtles

  8. Cusith Veles says:

    What I learned from the video?

    This turtle was a loner just like me.

  9. Kirmoll karma says:

    Save the turtles sksksksksks

  10. Speedwagon says:

    p l a s t i c s t r a w

  11. Just Some Guy without a Mustache says:

    Ugh that straw removal made me very uncomfortable. Poor turtles man.

  12. drew hildebrandt says:

    Why did they have to do that to the turtle, just let it be damn

  13. gerardo covarrubias says:

    The one that you made I'm top 5 Masters a martial arts do you think you can make one off dk yoo

  14. lipa 1 says:

    Does someone know the name of the song 5:00

  15. Isyraq Ummair says:

    Using plastic straw isn't wrong, littering is

  16. Hamilton Forbes-Lane says:

    Why use plastic zip-ties to secure the camera if there is a chance they will break and be lost in the water with the chance of sealife encountering it. If the whole point is removing plastic from oceans, surely they have a better option….

  17. Alvin Wu says:

    Here come the VSCO girl comments…take cover…

  18. Johnny Cox says:

    Because without turtles, there wouldn't be any turtles… B I T C H!

  19. Nicole Barlow says:

    Beautiful animals ❤️

  20. galaxy 44 says:

    I do feel bad he got chased so long. Poor guy

  21. Ordinary guy says:

    The turtles are so cute

  22. J. Custinavo says:

    Why do they always have to do those tags on animal lives. That metal attachment is not apart of their being

  23. Mark Azarcon says:

    Human tries to outswim a turtle

    Turtle: 1
    Human: 0

  24. nuts and bolts says:

    I'm gonna be honest Micheal reeves will say the same thing he always says

  25. MdMDmD says:

    It would be amazing if we can access the raw footage of the turtles.

  26. nuts and bolts says:

    Those turtles are adorable though

  27. La Soe says:

    Every one spam I like turtles

  28. TK Kmss says:

    Screw the sea turtles

    SAVE THE BEES, they are Dying a an alarming rate

  29. Alexander Ivory-Brown says:

    Save the turtles! I love turtles, my research on the home range for the terrapene c. Carolina was big on my campus with my professor and myself. Turtles are amazing and I hope we can continue to do a lot of work on them and for them.

  30. Merrill George says:

    pray for the turtles skskskskskskksksksksk and i oop-

    But no actually, help the turtles

  31. Merrill George says:

    it must be fun working at great big story

  32. Weeb Tendency says:

    Plastic straw: goes into the ocean

    Sea turtle: this some gourmet shit right here

  33. Merrill George says:

    paper straws are fookin disgusting

  34. Merrill George says:


  35. Shubham Dalvi says:


  36. ZuTu says:

    Where's Michael Reeves. I need him to watch this.

  37. Samiul Hussain says:

    The turtle snorted too much cocaine

  38. Harin nn says:

    I want nothing more than to be part of a turtle rodeo.

  39. Sheev Palpatine says:

    Paper straws are not good

  40. Najib Muhammad says:

    How does these people make money to live life in the first place?

  41. Arian Orange says:

    But in East Asia they eat Turtles.

  42. Nix Lam says:

    I'm not complaining, but that plastic straw removing video made such a huge impact to all the F&B industries around the globe now I can't find any trace of plastic straws in my town not even the street food stalls… They even replace the boba tea straws with paper ones.

  43. Sam Sadhu says:

    Looks more like they are hunting for the turtles , I mean why bloody hurt the creature by stapling it?, I guess it is to impress those chick's on the boat, BTW it's not the straw but the attitude of the people that's causing the issue, if it's not straw it cud be anything else

  44. Andro mache says:

    Fringing idiots. How much money are you going to scam people out of for this crap?

  45. Kerry Li says:

    It’s so much fun chasing the sea turtles and very good exercises too…

  46. Adony Grepares says:


  47. parvez syed masud says:

    Disturbing 😭 Natures 😭 Bad 👎

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