LMC Hospital Staff present paper, discuss plastics at national conference

Nicole & Sam AZVT

Nicole Montgomery (left) and Sam Clark.

Loggerhead Marinelife Center Hospital Coordinator Nicole Montgomery and LMC Veterinary Technician Samantha Clark recently presented a paper at the 2016 Association of Zoo Veterinary Technicians (AZVT) Conference at the Tulsa Zoo in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The presentation, called “Ocean Plastic: A Deadly Diet” detailed the effects of plastic consumption in sea turtles, as well as treating sea turtles who ingest plastic and how to prevent such problems. Montgomery co-authored the paper with Clark.

One aspect of plastics that Montgomery touched on in the paper was “Nurdle, Nurdle No Good for Turtle,” bringing attention to the tiny plastic pellets that can be found in a wide variety of plushies and other children’s toys. These microplastics can cause harm to sea turtles and other marine animals if ingested.

Montgomery and Clark also presented on some of LMC’s conservation programs, such Project Shield and the Responsible Pier Initiative, encouraging other zoo veterinary technicians to create their own programs and look at the environmental conservation efforts in their zoos. As a result of Montgomery and Clark’s presentation, a few institutions showed interest in collaborating with LMC on conservation efforts or adopting one of the established programs, according to Montgomery.

She and Clark also enjoyed behind-the scenes tours of the Tulsa Zoo, including up-close animal encounters. For more information about the AZVT Conference and association, visit www.azvt.org.