A fisherman who attempted to take an endangered green turtle home yesterday was thwarted by a heroic passerby.
At around 11:45am at the Sam Ka Tsuen Ferry Pier in Lei Yue Mun Fishing Village, the fisher, a 63-year-old man surnamed Heung, caught a large turtle.
Heung was happily preparing to take it home, Apple Daily reports, when a man passing by objected to the removal of the animal. The passerby alerted police, who deferred to the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD).
Staff at Ocean Park holding up the turtle. Photo: Ocean Park via Apple Daily
The turtle was taken to Ocean Park for a checkup, where vets confirmed it was a juvenile green sea turtle, which is classified as an endangered animal. A spokesperson for the park said the turtle was around eight to 10 years old, measuring 43 centimetres long, 40 centimetres wide, and weighing 7.5 kilograms. No fishing line or fishing hook was found inside its mouth.
The green turtle is believed to be the only species out of five turtles seen in Hong Kong waters that nests locally, and is protected under the Wild Animals Protection Ordinance, as well as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
The unlawful hunting, wilful disturbance, or possession of a protected animal in Hong Kong bears a maximum fine of HKD100,000 and one years’ imprisonment upon conviction. If you ever have the good fortune to see a green turtle (or indeed any endangered animal), call the AFCD on 1823.
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