Police rescue 500lb turtle

| 10/06/2009

(CNS): A Logger Head Turtle, estimated to be 30-years-old and 500 pounds in weight, was helped back into the sea last night after police officers found it in a distressed condition on the beach in East End. Officers from the Uniformed Support Group appear to have disturbed a poacher while on routine patrol in the district when they spotted the turtle near the new sea wall. The officers were alerted to a man who was seen running onto the road and a pursuitensued. Unfortunately, the man, who was described as tall, of slim build, with a dark complexion and who was wearing shorts and a T-shirt, was not located.

The animal was found to be turned over onto its back with its fins stabbed, threaded with string and tied up and police sought assistance from the Department of Environment and Officer Carl Edwards attended the scene.  

“This turtle is one of twelve reproducing Logger Heads who come ashore to lay eggs,” said Edwards. “During the examination the bleeding stopped and the turtle appeared to settle a little so we decided to release her back into the ocean. Due to the stress and injuries inflicted through the cruelty of the poacher – it is likely that she will dispose of her 3 to 4 hundred eggs at sea.”

The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) and the Department of Environment remind the public that no-one may disturb or take turtles in Cayman waters without a license from the Marine Conservation Board. Possession of turtle eggs is also prohibited and even for licensed fishermen the season is closed between 1 April and 30 November. The loggerhead turtle is an endangered species and despite being one of the earth’s oldest survigin species, its numbers have dramatically decline in recent decades.

Anyone with information about this incident or any other incidents involving turtle poaching should contact the Department of Environment on 949-8469, their local police station or Crime Stoppers. All persons calling Crime Stoppers remain anonymous, and are eligible for a reward of up to $1000, should their information lead to an arrest or recovery of property/drugs.

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Category: Science and Nature

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I heard they found a red PPM t-shirt tied to the Turtle.