Badly cut 1m-long sea turtle found dead along Changi Beach

Lydia Lam Straits Times AsiaOne 2 Jan 17;


The sea turtle was believed to have been cut by a ship propeller. PHOTO: CHANDRAN V. R.

SINGAPORE - A sea turtle more than a metre long was found dead along Changi Beach on Monday (Jan 2), believed to have been cut by a ship propeller.

ST reader Chandran V. R. told The Straits Times that he had been jogging at about 8.30am when he saw the carcass from a distance.

"At first I thought - how come this bulky item is there. Initially I didn't know what it was," said the 46-year-old managing director of a real estate agency.

He had been jogging along the Casuarina Cove Trail, near the Changi Ferry Terminal, when he noticed a bad smell.

Mr Chandran went closer and saw a dead turtle, more than a metre long, on the sand.

"It looked like it had been dead for at least two to three days," he said.

He then contacted the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA), as he "didn't want anyone to disrespect this carcass".

"It is a beautiful creature which got into trouble and lay dead on our shores. I just wanted the carcass to be discarded respectfully," said Mr Chandran.

He added that he believes AVA has retrieved the carcass, based on location markers he sent to them.

"You don't usually get to see a turtle of that size in Singapore waters," he said.

The Straits Times has contacted AVA for more information.

Ms Anbarasi Boopal, deputy chief executive of the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres), expressed dismay at the turtle's death.

She told The Straits Times that Acres had previously rescued an injured olive ridley turtle which was also possibly hit by a propeller.

It was rehabilitated and released back to the wild.

A dolphin carcass washed up on a beach at East Coast Park in July last year (2016).

A year before that (July 2015), a sperm whale carcass was found off Jurong Island, and its skeleton put up for exhibition at the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum in March last year (2016).



Mangled sea turtle found along Changi Beach
Channel NewsAsia 3 Jan 17;

SINGAPORE: The mangled carcass of a sea turtle was discovered at Changi Beach on Monday morning (Jan 2). The metre-long turtle was found with its shell sliced open.

“I was jogging in between the beach and the jogging track, and the stench caught my attention,” said Mr Chandran V R, who shared photos of the grisly find. “There was a very big gash on the turtle that was probably caused by a propeller. It was probably dead for at least one or two days.”

Mr Chandran added: “It is very sad to see such a graceful and rare giant turtle lay dead on our shores. We can learn from (the incident)."

“I hope more can be done (in terms of raising awareness) to avoid such tragedies in future, especially for our endangered animals," he said.

Responding to queries from Channel NewsAsia, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore said it received feedback about the sea turtle at Changi Beach and alerted the National Environment Agency to clear the carcass.

The Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES) also said that it was notified of the find as well. "Unfortunately, we are unable to confirm the species of the turtle due to the poor condition of the carcass," said deputy chief executive Kalai Balakrishnan. "Having said that, almost all marine turtle species are either endangered or critically endangered."

Mr Stephen Beng, chairman of the Singapore Nature Society's Marine Conservation Group, told AFP that the creature appeared to be a female green sea turtle, which the environmental group WWF has classified as endangered.

"From the injury scars, it most definitely was a boat strike. The propeller mark was likely from a large one and it seems the turtle was making a dash for cover," Mr Beng said.

He highlighted that marine animals are at risk from boats because Singapore is one of the world's busiest ports and its shipping lanes "bisect the longer coastal beaches of our main island from the richer coral reefs of our southern islands".

Mr Beng urged boat crew to be vigilant to avoid hitting wildlife and said they should ideally maintain a distance of 50 metres and slow down when animals are sighted.

ACRES said members of the public should not approach or crowd around turtles "so as to not stress them and in the process prevent them from laying eggs".

"Marine turtles are sighted occasionally on our shores. You may observe them from a distance and if you do notice that the turtle may be injured or even stuck on foreign objects like netting," said Mr Balakrishnan.

Members of the public who spot animals in distress can contact the authorities, such as NParks and AVA, or call the ACRES wildlife rescue hotline at 9783 7782.

- CNA/AFP/xk



Sea turtle with sliced shell found dead at Changi
Today Online 3 Jan 17;

SINGAPORE — An endangered giant sea turtle was found dead on a Singapore beach with its shell sliced in half, likely by a boat’s propeller, experts and the man who discovered it said on Tuesday (Jan 3).

According a Channel NewsAsia report, the turtle was found by Mr Chandran V R while he was out jogging on Monday.

Mr Chandran described the animal as being more than one metre long.

“The smell was overpowering, and when I followed the smell I saw a bulky item ... I walked towards it and saw the turtle and it was dead,” he told AFP.

“Cautiously I walked around it and I can see that there was a slash or a cut (on the shell)... In my opinion it was probably done by a propeller.”

Mr Chandran, a property executive, said he called the police.

“I was quite concerned ... I just don’t want people to dismember the body. It’s a turtle, people do eat turtles in this part of the region,” he said.

Mr Stephen Beng, chair of the Singapore Nature Society’s Marine Conservation Group, said the animal looked like a female green sea turtle, which inhabit the island’s reefs.

Environmental group WWF has classified the green sea turtle as an endangered species.

“From the injury scars, it most definitely was a boat strike. The propeller mark was likely from a large one and it seems the turtle was making a dash for cover,” Mr Beng told AFP.

Mr Beng said marine animals are at risk from boats because Singapore is one of the world’s busiest ports and its shipping lanes “bisect the longer coastal beaches of our main island from the richer coral reefs of our southern islands”.

Mr Beng urged boat crew to be vigilant to avoid hitting wildlife and said they should ideally maintain a distance of 50 metres and reduce speed when animals are sighted.

A dolphin carcass was found on a Singapore beach in 2016, while a dead sperm whale was washed ashore in 2015. One expert said at that time that the whale could have collided with a boat. AGENCIES



'Sliced' sea turtle found dead on Singapore beach
Heather Chen BBC 3 Jan 17;

Turtles are not normally found in the beaches around Singapore

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 had 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 he was "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."

There was a similar public grief among Singaporeans on social media for the unfortunate animal, after the discovery was reported by the Straits Times.

"Either our waters have too high ship traffic or there is something driving marine animals the wrong way, landwards rather than out to sea," wrote Ping Teo on Facebook. "Underwater mining also creates a lot of noise pollution for sea creatures trying to gauge direction."

Another Singaporean Vincent Teo pointed out the immense pain the animal must have suffered. "A turtle's shell is actually part of its rib cage. That must have hurt badly."

Christopher Sim described it as a terrible accident. "It reminds us just how much we must be careful not to trample on Mother Nature."

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 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."

No comments:

Post a Comment