Asia

'Sliced' sea turtle found dead on Singapore beach

'Sliced' sea turtle found dead on Singapore beach

Singaporean animal lover Chandran V R witnessed a “very unsettling” sight at the start of his new year.

On the morning of 1 January, he discovered a dead and endangered sea turtle which looked like it had been “sliced into half”, apparently by boat propellers.

The 46-year-old real estate managing director told BBC News that he found the carcass washed ashore on a remote part of Changi beach on the north-east of the island, near a ferry terminal.

“It was the start of the new year and I decided to go jogging along the coastal stretch which is generally quiet and sees very few people,” he said.

Mr Chandran said an “overpowering smell” first caught his attention.

“I decided to take a closer look. One thing led to another and I found the dead turtle.”

The creature was not moving but had a deep open gash across its body, though its head and flippers were intact.

“I was very alarmed and sad to see such a graceful and giant rare creature lying dead on our shores,” said Mr Chandran.

“It was probably been struck by a ship in the waters.”

He phoned the police and gave them information about the carcass as well as its location. Government officials later got in touch with Mr Chandran, saying the carcass was recovered.

Mr Chandran, who has visited turtle sanctuaries before, said that while he was touched to see the outpouring of public grief for the unfortunate animal on social media, he still remains “puzzled” as to why such a huge and rare animal was coming to Singapore shores.

“This was very tragic to see. I hope we as human beings can learn to live peacefully with nature and create awareness to avoid future tragedies, especially with endangered animals.”

Sea turtles are highly threatened and many species have been classified “endangered” or “critically endangered”.

While conservation has helped boost population numbers, they still face grave threats from man such as becoming tangled in fishing nets. They are often killed for their shells, which are used commonly used in tourist souvenirs and their eggs are also harvested and collected.

Sightings of them in Singapore, an island city-state, remain rare, according to the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES) charity.

“Marine turtles are endangered and it saddens us every time we come across such a tragedy,” said Deputy Chief Executive Kalai Vanan Balakrishnan.

“This particular turtle must have died a painful death and just goes to show that marine life is also being affected by presence of ships and boats.”

Source: bbc asia