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LOOK: Barangay captain sits on endangered leatherback turtle, sparks outrage among netizens

Photos of a barangay captain sitting on top of an endangered leatherback turtle that were posted on Facebook last August 6, 2015 have gone viral and sparked outrage among netizens.

Please read: LOOK: Endangered shark sold in a market in Bohol

The photos which were uploaded by Barangay Captain Jose Lastimado showed him sitting and squatting on top of a huge leatherback turtle that was “accidentally caught” in Sta. Rita, Marabut, Samar. The leatherback turtle is an endangered animal.

Photo Credit: Facebook / Jose Lastimado
Photo Credit: Facebook / Jose Lastimado

The turtle was also tied by a rope to prevent it from escaping.

Photo Credit: Facebook / Jose Lastimado
Photo Credit: Facebook / Jose Lastimado
Photo Credit: Facebook / Jose Lastimado
Photo Credit: Facebook / Jose Lastimado
Photo Credit: Facebook / Jose Lastimado
Photo Credit: Facebook / Jose Lastimado

According to National Geographic, the leatherback sea turtle, locally known as pawikan, is the largest species of turtle in the world. They can grow up to seven feet and weigh 900 kilograms. The leatherback turtle’s distinct characteristic from other sea turtles is its flexible, rubbery shell unlike the common sea turtles that have hard bony shells. These leatherback sea turtle can also be found in almost all regions with temperate and tropic waters.

Currently, leatherback sea turtles are classified as endangered species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.


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2 Comments

  1. UPDATE: from Corazon H. Makabenta from the DENR office, Region 8….. “This guy is not the brgy chairman, a former ABC Pres as the Mun Councilor of Marabut. The Local Chief Executive has ordered also this release. DENR Regl Director Leonardo Sibbaluca has already instructed to take appropriate action.”

    Here’s the full update: “To the general public, pls be informed that this Leatherback Marine Turtle has been released at 11 in the morning on August 5, 2015 in the presence of DA MAO and Bantay Dagat of Marabut, Samar. Per spot report submitted by DENR CENRO Sta Rita, Samar, the Pawikan was caught by Jessy Amora a fisherman by fish net while fishing using his ABS CBN donated pumpboat at 1:30 in the morning 1km offshore of Brgy Pinamitinan, Marabut, Samar. Measurements and photodocs undertaken, identified as Leatherback Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea ) categorized as endangered species, measures 6 feet in length and 36 inches in width of carapace. This incident of riding at the back of the turtle might have happened before the DENR CENRO Sta Rita Team arrived. This is in violation of Wildlife Act, RA 9147, Sec 27(h) and penalty per Sec 28 of the Act will be imposed by DENR 8. We have been campaigning so hard, deputized WEOs and conducted training on Environmental Law Enforcement in Coastal and Marine Areas in partnership with Tanggol Kalikasan Atty Ronely Sheen and Atty Genee Mislang and ELac Atty. Ronnan Christian Reposar. This guy is not the brgy chairman, a former ABC Pres as the Mun Councilor of Marabut. The Local Chief Executive has ordered also this release. DENR Regl Director Leonardo Sibbaluca has already instructed to take appropriate action. DENR BMB Director Mundita Lim likewise has alerted us to take appropriate action. Thanks for the expression of concern and support from the general public. Corazon H. Makabenta, OIC Chief, Conservation and Development Division, DENR, Region 8, Tacloban City.”

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