slain Turtle 1
The remains of the turtle that was killed in Biabou on Wednesday.

An investigation has been launched into the killing of a large leatherback sea turtle that came ashore to lay her eggs in Biabou on Wednesday.

“Yesterday, we witnessed the brutal slaughter of a 6 foot 4 inch long female turtle that went ashore simply to lay her eggs, to have her babies on the beach in Biabou and this is during the closed season, when it is illegal to kill sea turtles, and she was brutally slaughtered,” conservationist Louise Mitchell said on Thursday.

Mitchell spoke of the development at an event to launch the St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) Preservation Fund, which, among other things, is supportive of conserving the critically endangered hawksbill and leatherback turtles.

“Now, a turtle cannot start to reproduce until she is 25 years old. There is a chance that this turtle was anywhere between 30 to 60 years old, and unfortunately, she met her untimely death,” Mitchell said.

She said she was happy to announce that the fund, has approved a project submitted by National Parks Authority together with the Fisheries Department to conserve the local sea turtles.

The remains of the turtle that was killed in Biabou on Wednesday.
The remains of the turtle that was killed in Biabou on Wednesday.

iWitness News understands that police have questioned some five persons in connection with the killing of the turtle, but we were unable to verify if any charged had been brought against those persons.

The remains of the turtle that was killed in Biabou on Wednesday.
The remains of the turtle that was killed in Biabou on Wednesday.

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Leatherback turtles are named for their shell, which is leather-like rather than hard, like other turtles.

They are the largest sea turtle species and also one of the most migratory, crossing both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Pacific leatherbacks migrate from nesting beaches in the Coral Triangle all the way to the California coast to feed on the abundant jellyfish every summer and fall.

Although their distribution is wide, numbers of leatherback turtles have seriously declined during the last century as a result of intense egg collection and fisheries bycatch. 

Leatherback turtles consume large numbers of jellyfish which helps to keep populations of these marine organisms in check. Marine turtles, including leatherbacks, also provide a vital source of income as a draw for ecotourism in coastal communities. (From WWF)

6 replies on “Female leatherback turtle killed illegally in Biabou (graphic images)”

  1. That’s disgusting and a sad testimony to SVG that even turtles should not visit SVG as they are not safe there. To those who perpetrated this disgusting act…. I hope the law falls on your heads really hard.

    I hope the law does follow this up and catches and prosecutes the guilty people.

    What do you think this will do for tourism you stupid hungry belly a**holes. You guys haven’t got a chance and you are so bloody ignorant you don’t even know what harm you are doing to the country.

    Keep eating everything you see without a care, soon there will only be rats for you to eat.

    Its a shame that the turtle can’t carry ebola for you.

    Do something (Government – PM Ralf) to show you do not support this behaviour because in the eyes of the world you will be looked down upon. This is third world behaviour. AIA is coming – be warned.

    I am ashamed to be called a Vincentian

    1. C. ben-David says:

      I feel your anger but also know our people, or at the least the large majority who wouldn’t bat an eye about this backward act, are the same majority who condone praedial larceny by buying produce they know has been stolen, who purchase other property based on house and shop break-ins, who believe sand mining is their right, who don’t care or notice how much our fragile and precious environment has been degraded, who dump garbage all over the place, who accept that speeding vehicles have priority over pedestrians, who … the list is nearly endless.

      You claim that this is Third World behaviour. But even though we are not as poor as many Third World countries, we are Third World in mind and deed.

  2. C. ben-David says:

    Just another example of disrespect of nature and the environment. We are far from ready to encourage eco-tourism, an enterprise in which conservation-minded visitors would pay big money to watch in awe as these turtles laid there eggs and buried them in the sand.

    We are still a backward people not ready or willing to embrace modern civilization.

    And be assured that no one will get more than a small fine for this slaughter. After all, it’s only a damn turtle, right?

  3. With regards the conservation of wildlife, it would appear that Vincentians are still very uneducated. Programs should be put in place and vigorously acted on for fisherfolks and gaming folks to be educated on the importance of preserving sea life and land life. That turtle came ashore for the main purpose of reproducing, it now dead and all those eggs that would have ultimately be baby turtles are dead too. It’s a wicked, wicked shame. In this modern age, things like that should not be practicing/happening in SVG. The persons who are committing such acts, shame on you, put them in prison if/when they are found.

  4. Let’s be honest. It is a well-known fact that there are so many Vincentians that care essentially nothing about animal life. In fact the human murder rate shows that so many of us care little about life at all. I have noticed that many of our less educated believe they are “big men” when they kill animals, especially rare or endangered animals.

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