A 60-year-old male in connection with the massive turtle slaughter in Sabah has been arrested.
Last Wednesday (27th September), a disturbing photo of 8 dead turtles lying on a beach at Bum Bum Island went viral online. It was later revealed that there were approximately 100 more turtle skeletons found scattered within the vicinity Semporna.
Sabah Wildlife Department director Augustine Tuuga said that the aforementioned fisherman has been remanded for 5 days for investigation. “Meanwhile, the department is continuing the search for the other identified suspects in the days to come. The search is to cover several islands in Semporna waters,” Tuuga was quoted as saying.
It is believed that the killing of seas turtles is to supply the tourist’s demands for exotic meats when vacationing in Sabah. “There could be illegal supply of exotic meats and we are trying to look into the allegations,” said Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun.
He added, “There are even allegations that say with the influx of tourists, there has also been an increase in the number of turtles and wildlife killed. So there is a theory that it may have been for the purpose of providing exotic food for some tourists but that is one area that we are still investigating. At this point of time, it is just a theory.”
At this rate, if turtle-poaching continues to go unnoticed, these already-endangered green sea turtles may become extinct.