An injured Hawksbill turtle tied to a tree was discovered on the Vigie beach this morning by a George F.L. Charles Airport staff.
Elijah Dundas, who made the discovery at about 12:02 a.m., said a group of men may have been responsible for tying the turtle and injuring it.
Dundas told St. Lucia News Online (SNO) that a suspicious-looking green Mitsubishi two-door pick up with three men on board, was parked outside the airport, near the main entrance.
He said two of the men were on the lookout, while the other man was on the beach.
Dundas decided to alert his colleagues and they went to check on it. But before they reached outside the compound, the men ran into their vehicle and fled.
Upon arriving at the spot where the men were parked, Dundas discovered the injured turtle.
He said, “It was tied to the root of a tree. It looked like they used something to lash the turtle in the head, because there were traces of blood and it also had lacerations.”
The men then released the turtle, which was badly hurt. It is not clear whether the turtle made it back to the sea, or if it was taken by the wildlife authorities.
Only a few weeks ago, a Hawksbill turtle was discovered dead on the Vigie beach. It appeared that someone attempted to slaughter the animal, because there were visible markings to indicate that.
On Wednesday, June 3, someone discovered the remains of another Hawksbill turtle, that appeared to have made it’s way to a remote area on Reduit Beach, Gros-Islet to nest, but was slaughtered.
The remains included a decomposing shell and intestines, along with mature and immature eggs. All the turtle meat was extracted along with the head and flippers, an official told SNO at the time.
The sea turtle hunting season is closed, therefore it is illegal to hunt and/or kill turtles at this time.
The harvesting seasoning usually runs annually from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, with conditions. Anyone caught and found guilty faces a maximum fine of $5,000 and/or one year imprisonment.