The lifeless body of an endangered sea turtle, which appeared to have been “sliced into half” by a very sharp object, was found washed ashore a beach in Singapore on New Year’s Day.
Singaporean real estate managing director Chandran V.R. discovered the carcass of the poor creature on Sunday morning near a terminal at Changi beach on the north-east of the island, reported BBC News.
“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,” the 46-year-old animal lover was quoted as saying.
Chandran first noticed an odor emanating from the area.
“I decided to take a closer look. One thing led to another and I found the dead turtle.”
While the turtle’s other parts seemed intact, it sustained a deep open wound across its back that most probably led to its death.
“I was very alarmed and sad to see such a graceful and giant rare creature lying dead on our shores,” a disheartened Chandran said.
“It had probably been struck by a ship in the waters.”
Upon his discovery, he immediately notified the local authorities, providing some information about what he found and where exactly he discovered it. He was later advised by officers that the carcass has been removed.
“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,” Chandran said.
Netizens have equally expressed remorse and grief over the incident emerged online.
“Either our waters have too high ship traffic or there is something driving marine animals the wrong way, landwards rather than out to sea,” netizen Ping Teo posted on Facebook. “Underwater mining also creates a lot of noise pollution for sea creatures trying to gauge direction.”
Facebook user Vincent Teo speculated on the terrible pain the animal must have felt before its death. “A turtle’s shell is actually part of its rib cage. That must have hurt badly.”
Netizen Christopher Sim was equally distraught about the incident. “It reminds us just how much we must be careful not to trample on Mother Nature.”
Currently, the sea turtles are classified as a highly threatened animal, with several species already classified as “endangered” or “critically endangered”.
Commonly killed for their shells, the poor sea turtles’ numbers have been going down. And while conservation efforts from concerned groups have recently helped bump up the population a bit, individual deaths such as the recent one found in Singapore have a huge impact in saving the species.