DoE rescues wild green turtle

| 30/07/2010

(CNS): A 300lb turtle has been saved from the hands of poachers as a result of a phone call from a vigilant resident to government authorities. On Saturday afternoon (24 July) Department of Environment officers were alerted by 911 that someone had seen a turtle in the bushes on Sandhole Road in West Bay. Mark Orr, the DOE officer who was part of the rescue effort explained that when he got there he found a large Green Turtle tied up on her back in the grape trees about 30 or 40 feet of beach. He said she had crawled up and started her nesting before poachers had caught her.

Orr told News 27 how officers had managed to untie and flip her around and although tired she had enough strength to get back to the water.
There are less than twenty each of greens and loggerhead turtles left nesting on beaches around Grand Cayman, Orr explained and said he was relieved that this particular acquatic mother to be had managed to return to the beach despite her trauma and nest.
Authorities have not caught the person or persons who were trying to poach the turtle, but warn if caught they could face serious fines or time in prison.
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  1. Difference - none says:

    If turtles are sold as food then we show them no respect.  The sale of turtle meat should be illegal wherever it is from.  It is a disgrace to Cayman.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The problem with poachers is that they don’t care about the enviroment and are not open to new ideas.

    These nesting turtle killers are very much like the fishermen who were fishing the grouper during spawning season.

    Education – education – education, it may take generations to overcome this ignorance and hopefully there will be some nesting turtles left.

  3. Anonymous says:

    only a bunch of nasty individuals would take a nesting turtle and call it their heritage… can go and buy the meat at the farm u sick ###er’s

  4. concerned Rasta says:

    DOE/Police, increase your investigating skills and the next time if you want to catch the person(s) that turn a turtle stick around a little while and within 24hours you will have yourself a surprising catch! 

    • Anonymous says:

      So you’re saying the DoE should wait in the bushes until the poachers come back? Lemme see how this would work….. DoE finds the turtle then sits next to it and waits for the poachers return? A couple of DoE officers sitting in the bush in West Bay and the whole district would have the word out and the poachers wouldn’t go a mile near the site. When would you have this officers sit in the bush? After their 8 hour work day? During the dark of night with no firearm or body armour? I can just see a couple of poor enforcement officers in deep West in the middle of the night!! Also who would relieve these officers after their shift? The last time there was a count I believe there are only 7 DoE enforcement officers on Grand Cayman – not a lot of officers to cover on a regular day never mind if they camped out in the bushes in West Bay overnight. DO NOT question the investigative prowess of the DoE perhaps you should question why we as Caymanians allow our Fisheries Officers to go under manned and under powered. These 7 men with the DoE are doing EVERYTHING they can with the poor equipment and lack of support they recieve from everyone in their own depatment to the Ministry who deny them the proper euqipment and money they need. But why would we actually want DoE Enforcement to do their jobs properly?

  5. whodatis says:

    I’m trying to ascertain exactly what sort of thrill one receives from "catching" a nesting turtle – or any turtle on land for that matter!

    The thing maxes out at about 0.0003 miles per hour! Lol!

    What bragging rights does that bring?

    Are we supposed to consider the poacher as some daring and macho "hunter"?!


    As my 11 year old niece so eloquently puts it – "You’re such a LOSER!"

  6. Anonymous says:

    this is a disgrace! such cruel people in this world. this is one of our national animals and to take it when its in the middle of nesting is horrible.i hope they found out who these people are and put them away for what they deserve!!

  7. Caymanian at Heart says:

    Hats off to Mark Orr for another great rescue, this man deserves a medal!

    If only we could switch people from turtle to Green Iguana and solve two problems at once.  Endangered Ain’t Edible folks!!  I have recently seen some of my Caymanian friends converting their turtle recipes to Green Iguana with great success.  Hopefully the trend will continue.  I think one of the true Caymanian qualities is the folks ability to utilize the resources around them.

    These sea creatures aren’t even healthy for you with all the pollutants in the sea and the farmed variety well you just have to take a trip to the farm to see their health.  Hope one day soon to see a study conducted here on the safety of turtle meat both wild and farmed.  Turtles are known bio accumulate pollutants in their fats.  The dish this island is trying so hard to hang onto could in fact be poisoning people.

    If this is about culture why not focus more on the act of ship building, sea faring and fishing?  This is a wonderful heritage that is quickly dying off as the island loses it elders.  It would be nice for folks to embrace that aspect rather that one dish. 

  8. Anonymous says:

    What a loser… "it is my heritage" to torture and slaughter nesting endangered species… hmm, don’t recall that chapter in cayman history.

  9. Anonymous says:

    It’s surprising that this isn’t drawing more comments. It’s a freaking national symbol, all by itself the turtle is 5% of the whole breeding popultion of wild green turtles, it probably takes 50 years to grow a momma turtle like that. Why not assign a couple of the non-assigned, non-working civil service to each turtle to protect it while it’s nesting. You only need about 50.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I am a Caymanian who hunted with my father for turtles; both on sea and land. But I am also a conservationalist and understand that we must protect these invaluable creatures. We now have farmed turtle and therefore these criminals-yes that is what they are-are doing irreparable harm to our society, and our environment; not for sake of culture (hunting turtle and eating turtle meat) but simply for the "windfall" from the sale of a large reproducing "wild" turtle.

    This is very wrong. Especially since those who want to extend our culture of trapping turtles can do so with the proper licences. Therefore there is no excuse. But the D.O.E. or Govt. must do more by placing proper limits on the sizes that can be taken-no mature/reproducing stock should be taken;a proper size turtle is plenty enough for a family. That way no one can justify their act by saying they "are feeding their starving family".


  11. Anonymous says:

    What kind of evil person would takes a nesting turtle?? Besides the fact that it’s illegal…

    Probably eats puppies and kittens too

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree.  There are so many dodgy people among us on this small island.  Really makes you wonder nowadays what this place is becoming (this particular case of course only a speck on the radar of illegal acts happening around here now).

  12. Anonymous says:

    Gratitude to the person who called in, these people need to be stopped NOW before it is too late!

    20 (!!!) nesting turtles left – so much for a former Tortuga island.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I say, cut off one of the poacher’s flippers 

  14. Mmmm says:

    Look at that delicious food going to waste.  Don’t mock me you do not understand it is my heritage.

    • Anonymous says:

      Your heritage?  To break the law and kill an endangered animal to satisfy a desire that can be legally satisfied one hundred different ways on this island?  Your comments beg to be mocked.

    • Anonymous says:

      JERK – "Your Heritage"is fast going down the drain because of backwards people like you

  15. Bobby Anonymous says:

    Thanks to the person who called this in. I heard a large turtle was taken from her nest and slaughtered in East End two days ago. This has to STOP, give the enforcement team the powers and equipment to deals with these criminals.

    Please prosecute these poachers to the full extent of the law. The penalties are 4 years jail and 500,000 fine. DO IT!!!!!!!!! Stop the stupid 50 dollar fines and drug counciling!

    These people know EXACTLY what they are doing.

    THE CONSERVATION LAW IS NEEDED NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • NorthSideSue says:

      That turtle poached Wednesday night was a loggerhead taken in Old Man Bay.  What a shame!

  16. Anonymous says:

    I take my hat off to the alert individual who contacted the DoE. They really did a service to the country. Mark Orr is a good man and will respond to such information.

    As to the poachers, they need jail time as a deterrent to killing the nesting turtles.