Written by Kimberly Casipe, PRRCFI Science Education Officer
A juvenile hawskbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) entangled in a sack was found near Typhoon Beach in Danjugan. In the island, we make it a habit to pick up trash whenever we see one. I was kayaking and I saw this huge sack debris hanging on a limestone rock. While I was moving closer, I saw something tied to it and saw a tiny flipper moving. I looked closely and found that it was a juvenile hawskbill sea turtle about 14 inches in length. The sack got strangled around its neck and left flipper. The turtle was right away retrieved and brought to a safer spot where we can remove the sack from its neck and flipper. After disentangling, we observed the shallow cuts caused by the sack thread in its flipper. We tried releasing the turtle in the water to check if there is a problem with its swimming but it actively swam away from us. Such encounters make you rethink twice about how our impacts as humans affect wildlife. The sack could have been strangled around its neck for days already, making it hard for the poor juvenile to forage for food.
Globally, Hawksbill sea turtle are considered already as critically endangered by the IUCN which means they are facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild in the immediate future.
Photo credits to Sir Gerry and JD of BDO for capturing this moment. We’ll be sharing a video of this encounter on our Danjugan FB Page 🙂