Wild turtle killed by boat propeller in NS

| 26/05/2014

(CNS): Officials from the Department of Environment (DoE) are urging boaters to be more vigilant regarding turtles following the death of a 300lb adult male last week after it appeared to have been hit by a boat. The green turtle was found dead in a mangrove area of North Sound on Wednesday by a group of kayakers, who spotted the turtle in a remote area and notified the DoE. Research staff recovered the turtle and found a deep fracture in its upper shell, characteristic of a propeller wound. With the turtle breeding season having started, the wild marine creatures are now even more vulnerable.

“Turtles spend time at the surface breathing, basking in the sun and mating. Adult male and female turtles are particularly vulnerable to boat strikes,” said DoE Research Officer Janice Blumenthal. “The turtle breeding and nesting season has now begun and will continue throughout the summer. DoE urges members of the public to exercise caution when boating: Use slow speeds when possible, and watch out for turtles at the surface. We hope this unfortunate incident increases the boating public's awareness, helping us better protect and conserve Cayman's turtles.”

DoE staff have collected samples from the turtle and transported it to the St. Matthew’s University School of Veterinary Medicine, where veterinarians, assisted by students, will perform a full internal examination (necropsy) and report the results to DoE.

“This partnership with DoE is an excellent educational opportunity for our students as well as providing information which benefits turtle conservation,” said Veterinary School Associate Professor of Clinical Sciences Samantha Shields.

Members of the public finding dead or injured turtles are asked to call the Department of Environment's Sea Turtle Hotline at 938-NEST (938-6378).

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Sadly to say, turtles either get killed by boats or by poachers who take advantage when turtles come to beach to lay their eggs……….

  2. Anonymous says:

    While this is a sad news item & regrettable, it is impossible to know the circumstance of the poor animals fate. Most boat operators in Cayman are responsible & safe operators,regardless of their origin. For what we know, the turtle may have been 24 inches submerged or on the surface at night & a boat driver may not have even known of the event. If an outboard powered boat struck an animal of this weight , the prop & gear-case would have been possibly damaged, or it may have been a larger powered vessel, no real way of knowing in any case. Hopefully the story may remind all vessel operators to keep a watchful eye out for animal life, for both their sake and for safe boating in general, in our waters.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Well I sure hope it wasn't an aluminum propeller….. Those are expensive and would probably have to be replaced. 

  4. Anonymous says:

    Stop this nonsense you cowboy boat drivers! Enough! All boat owners should have to pass a test of knowledsge and laws regarding sensible behaviour in our waters. This is a disgusting travesty – start appreciating the creatures in our waters more than your adrenaline fuelled joy rides!

  5. 4Cayman says:

    This is one of the important reasons Turtle Farm  should continue with its breeding program. As long as there are reckless boat owners, turtle poachers and garbage  in the sea, turtles  will always be under threat and without the turtle farm  these animals will eventually  become extinct.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Happy turtle's day!

  7. Animaliberator says:

    Not only turtles but manatees, whales, dolphins and a host of other marine life frequently fall prey to the ruthless power of boat propellers. It is really not that hard nor expensive to fit a meshed propeller cage to prevent all this from happening. I recall a tourist accident who lost his entire arm to a propeller as well. These happenings are all accidental so this not to assign blame to anyone but don't we think it is time to address this issue for all intended purposes?

  8. Anonymous says:

    This is a repeat of what happens all to often with these animals around the world. Mankind has impacted the planet in a way never seen in its billion of years existense.


  9. Anonymous says:

    Oh noooo!!! 🙁 🙁 poor turtle! Be careful boaters!