A wounded male Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas) or ‘pawikan’was rescued by a fisherman at the municipal waters of Barangay Binitinan, Balingasag, Misamis Oriental recently.

In his report to Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Region X Regional Executive Director (RED) Arleigh J. Adorable, OIC, Assistant Regional Director (ARD) for Technical Services Aldrich S. Resma said the Green Sea Turtle which was rescued by Arnie Valerio is now being rehabilitated and regularly monitored by personnel of the DENR and the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office (MENRO) of Balingasag until its recovery.

OIC, ARD Resma said the local government unit of Balingasag reported the incident to DENR X and a team composed of personnel from the DENR X together with personnel from the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office of Misamis Oriental, Dr. James Bautista and staff from the Misamis Oriental Provincial Veterinary Office and the MENR Officer of Balingasag conducted assessment of the rescued turtle.

The team observed that the turtle had a severe fracture on the right portion of the head presumed to be caused by a heavy blow using a hard/heavy object. The turtle, with a carapace length of 92.5 cm and width of 81 cm, had an amputated left hind-flipper but it was an old injury and the wound is completely healed.

He recommended to RED Adorable that the DENR X Enforcement Division shall conduct further investigation regarding the incident to identify the culprit of the illegal act.

The protection of all wildlife including marine turtles is embodied under Republic Act 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act. Illegal acts like hunting, killing, gathering their eggs, destroying their nests, selling, transporting and mere possession of any part or derivatives is punishable with a fine of Fifty thousand pesos to Five hundred thousand pesos and imprisonment of four years and one day to six years, if inflected or undertaken against endangered species.

“We thank the local government units (LGUs) for working with us in the protection and conservation of our endangered species like the marine turtles. He said the DENR X continues to work with the LGUs, other government agencies, communities and concerned groups and individuals to further promote the sustainable development of our coastal and marine resources,” ARD Resma added.

It was gathered that the veterinarian injected anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory drug to prevent infection and lessen the pain caused by the fracture. The wound was also sprayed with anti-bacterial medicine. #TayoAngKalikasan (With report from the Protected Area Mgt. and Biodiversity Conservation Section, Conservation and Development Division) RPAO # 09-253-20