Sea turtle rescued by Costa Rican police from car trunk
When police stopped a car in the city of Limón Friday evening they were looking for guns or drugs. What they found was a 100-kilogram green sea turtle, according to a statement from the Public Security Ministry.
Green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) are listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.
Police stopped a car driven by a man with the surname Solano near the Limón cemetery and asked him to open the trunk of his vehicle. Inside was a green sea turtle measuring 1.4 meters from beak to tail. The turtle was on its back with its flippers bound.
The turtle sustained two large gashes, likely from harpoons used to catch it, according to Fernando Alegre, the veterinarian at the Jaguar Rescue Center in Puerto Viejo, where authorities delivered the turtle for treatment Saturday. Besides the deep cuts, Alegre said that the turtle had been “brutally” tied by its captors and had injuries from the cords.
Alegre said the animal was “very weak” but was being treated in hopes of eventually releasing it back into the Caribbean.
“Until it improves, we can’t be optimistic,” Alegre told The Tico Times.
The driver of the car and three passengers were handed over to the Prosecutor’s Office to face charges.
Green sea turtles can weigh up to 320 kilograms (700 pounds). The creatures nest on Costa Rica’s Caribbean beaches from July to October and are often poached for their meat and eggs.
On June 30, police arrested five men found with the meat and shell of an endangered hawksbill sea turtle.
You may be interested
Authorities search for hiker missing in Chirripó NPAlejandro Zúñiga - May 7, 2021
Costa Rican authorities are searching for a woman who disappeared Tuesday while hiking to Cerro Ventisqueros, the country's second-highest peak…
Costa Rica unemployment rate remains elevated at 18.7%The Tico Times - May 7, 2021
Unemployment in Costa Rica was 18.7% in the moving quarter from January to March 2021, according to the National Institute…
Mexico extradites ex-priest accused of child abuse to Costa RicaAFP and The Tico Times - May 7, 2021
Former Costa Rican priest Mauricio Víquez, accused of sexual abuse of minors, was handed over Thursday by Mexico to Costa…