LUNA, La Union – An extraordinarily large and heavy sea turtle weighing 120 kilos known as “olive ridley”, an endangered specie, was released back to sea last Friday after it was caught crawling on the pebbled seashore of Barangy Barrientos in the coastal town of Luna.
Tito Gorospe, Luna municipal environment management coordination, said that the “olive ridley” sea turtle was caught by a certain Bernardo A. Ayala, 57, who was looking for pebbles to collect in the said barangay early in the morning of the same day when he spotted the turtle moving with difficulty over stones that abound in the area.
It was learned that the sea turtle was heavy due to its “pregnancy” and was looking for a place to lay her eggs in the sandy shore.
Gorospe added that the sea turtle measured 40 inches long and 35 inches wide. The olive sea turtle that nests and forages in the
Philippines is generally small in size and rarely weigh over 50 kilos.
It is engendered because of the few remaining habitats and low production capacity as a result of pollution and contamination.
The sea turtle was estimated to be at least 25 years of age, according to Virgilio Enriquez, Coastal Underwater Research Action Movement (CURMA) in San Fernando City, La Union.
Ayala told media persons that he was aware of the campaign on the preservation of endangered species so he immediately reported the matter to Mayor Marvin Marron at the municipal mayor’s office.
The release of the turtle to the sea, after proper documentation, was witnessed by volunteers from the Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine National Police, Environment and Natural Resources office, municipal employees and residents. Erwin Beleo / northboundasia.com