2 green turtles released back into Tayabas Bay
LUCENA CITY – Two juvenile green turtles (Chelonia mydas) were released back to the sea in Tayabas Bay before sunset Monday by local government officials, maritime police, “bantay dagat” (sea patrol) and environmentalists, authorities said Tuesday.
Zeny Bernal, Tanggol Kalikasan (TK) Southern Luzon program director, said the female and male turtles with strands of nylon nets around their bodies were found by a couple while gathering oysters along the river bank in the coastal village of Talao-Talao here on Sunday.
“Based from the rumors in the village, the turtles were hidden along the banks to be butchered for a birthday celebration,” Bernal said. “Bantay dagat” volunteers in the village reported the discovery of the turtles to TK office.
The green sea turtle is listed as “endangered (facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild in the near future)” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.
The female turtle measures 59 cm in carapace length while the male is 60 cm. A staff from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources attached a number tag on the flaps of the turtles for monitoring. SFM/rga
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