By BORNEOTODAY REPORTERS
KOTA KINABALU: The Sea Shepherd, an international non-profit, marine wildlife conservation organisation, angered by the recent deaths of endangered green turtles in Sabah’s east coast islands, have put up an RM21,000 reward to bring the killers to book.
The offer of the US5,000 reward was put up by Captain Paul Watson, the man behind Sea Shepherd, whose mission is to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species.
Posted in Captain Watson’s Facebook on Sunday, the reward is for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the murder of nine endangered green turtles in Sabah.
At the time of posting the reward, he probably did not know about the other turtle carcasses that were found, especially the seven creatures that were found floating in waters near the popular Mabul island on Saturday night.
“Please contact the Sabah Wildlife Department with information and/or evidence,” he wrote.
“It seems that the poachers are now too impatient to steal the eggs after they are laid; they are now resorting to excessive butchery to steal the eggs from their mothers.
“There is no excuse for such savagery. These monsters need to be punished.”
Established in 1977, Sea Shepherd investigates, documents, and take action when necessary to expose and confront illegal activities on the high seas.
By safeguarding the biodiversity of our delicately-balanced ocean ecosystems, Sea Shepherd works to ensure their survival for future generations.
Captain Watson has been described as the “world’s most aggressive, most determined, most active and most effective defender of wildlife.”
He has yet to reply to BorneoToday.
Even as Masidi Manjun, Sabah’s Tourism, Culture and Environment minister spoke of amending the Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997 to make the killing of fully protected animals as a strict liability offence, hours later came the shocking Mabul discovery.
The turtles were spotted stuck to the pillar of Billabong Scuba Homestay’s jetty. The group that first spotted the turtles also counted the seven carcasses, noting there was another that slipped away.
Augustine Tuuga, Sabah Wildlife Department director was quoted Sunday morning as saying that his department was alerted of the latest incident.
“We have sent a wildlife team to the island to retrieve the carcasses and conduct an investigation. I have also instructed all district wildlife offices to conduct massive operations against turtle poaching,” he was reported saying
Early this week, the wildlife team had also responded to a viraled photo of eight mutilated turtle carcasses on Pulau Bum Bum off Semporna.
Upon arriving at the site on Thursday, the team only found one carcass while others were believed to have been washed away.
The team, however, made a shocking discovery when they spotted bones from 100 dead sea turtle carcasses scattered in the bushes near Kampung Pantau-Pantau, Kampung Amboh-Amboh and Kampung Sampolan on the island.
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