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Third turtle slaughtered


Third turtle slaughtered

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WHO IS butchering turtles and leaving them on the beach?
This is the question being asked by upset turtle conservationists as they discovered another turtle dead, the third in two weeks, at King’s Beach, Road View, St Peter, yesterday.
Barbados Sea Turtle Project volunteers Caitlin Lanphear and Meghan Bend made the discovery after they received calls, to the turtle hotline, of a dead turtle floating in the water’s edge.
Lanphear said when they examined the Hawksbill’s body, they found “a big gash in the top of her neck”.
The turtle also had a gash to the right side, as well as to the flipper, and her left eye had been gouged out. There was also evidence the perpetrator had tried to do the same to the right eye.
There was an unfinished nest nearby, indicating the turtle was killed before she had chance to lay her eggs, and a blood stain indicating where she had first been struck. However, the perpetrator made no attempt to remove her eggs or the meat.
The main injury, Lanphear admitted, looked very similar to the one discovered on the beach at nearby Schooner’s Bay, also in St Peter, two Sundays ago. In that instance, there was also no evidence of poaching.
“We think, as we found blood up there, she was actually digging the nest to lay the eggs and they caught her while she was doing it. There are dog prints up there and we found a bite mark on her neck, so it looks like a dog may be involved, biting her while the person did the slash on her neck,” she said.
The turtle was about 15 years old.
At Schooner’s Bay, near the lone cannon that marked the location of Fort Denmark, men there embarked on a heated discussion when they heard another turtle had been killed, with one saying the deaths were more likely a result of the turtles being hit by boat propellers.
Police are investigating.