Remember the shocking image of 8 dead turtles on the beach at Bum Bum Island that went viral recently? As it turns out, this appalling activity has been going on for quite a while.
After carrying out investigations, Malaysia wildlife authorities made a more troubling discovery. Some 100 turtle skeletons were found scattered on the beaches of Kampung Pantau-Pantau, Kampung Amboh-Amboh, and Kampung Sampolan; all of which are within the vicinity Semporna, Sabah.
“An investigation was conducted this morning on the report in Bum-Bum Island in Semporna with the assistance from Semporna police, marine police, Sabah Parks, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and Omadal Island Women Association,” Sabah Wildlife Department Director Augustine Tuuga was quoted as saying.
“Further investigation in coastal villages around the island revealed that the poaching activities (by Bajau Laut people) have been going on for quite some time,” Tuuga said, before adding, “They (the suspects) do not live in the area but are always on the move by boat and come to the area occasionally. Some suspects have been identified and investigation is continuing”.
As aforementioned, photos of 8 green turtle carcasses with exposed stomachs that was uploaded by the Semporna Viral Facebook page spread like wildfire online. Although their names and pictures have not been revealed, several suspects behind the killing have already been identified.
If convicted, the culprits could be slapped with a fine of up to RM50,000, a jail term of up to 5 years, or both, under Section 41(1) of the Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997.