Culprit Sought in Death of Threatened Green Sea Turtle
A 250-pound green sea turtle was found butchered at Onekahakaha County Beach Park in South Hilo in what is being called a “senseless” act.
Officers from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement report that the turtle’s front two flippers were amputated and say it appears that the suspect or suspects were interrupted and left the scene without the turtle.
The incident was reported to authorities at around 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 5, 2018 by a couple who spotted the turtle floating belly-up in a cove behind some trees. They called NOAA’s turtle stranding team from UH-Hilo, which in turn notified DOCARE.
The team recovered the turtle and it will be flown to O‘ahu for a post-mortem examination and to possibly provide additional evidence.
A DOCARE officer estimates the turtle’s shell as at least 80 centimeters in size.
Anyone with any information on the turtle killing is asked to call the DOCARE statewide hotline at 643-DLNR, report it via the free DLNRTip app on their smartphone, or call the DOCARE Hilo office at (808) 933-3460. Stranded, entangled or injured marine mammals should be reported to the NOAA Fisheries Marine Mammal Hotline at 888-256-9840
Green sea turtles are listed as a threatened species and it is against both federal and state law to harass or harm them.