KUANTAN: Four green turtles or penyu agar (Chelonia mydas) were found dead by the beach in Kampung Sungai Ular here.
The carcasses were found scattered on the beach where an oil spill occurred last week.
A passer-by, Herman Nadil, 55, said he saw the carcasses yesterday.
“I believe the turtles had died several days ago due to the oil slick,” he said.
State Fisheries Department director Datuk Adnan Hussain said the dead turtles could be linked to the oil spill but a thorough probe needed to be conducted.
“The dead turtles were probably eight years old,” he said.
“Sungai Ular and Cherating beaches are turtle landing sites and no human activities are allowed.
“I believe visitors would not harm these turtles, so the oil slick is the most probable cause.”
Green turtles, which can live up to 100 years, are the most common species found in Malaysian waters and have been listed as “endangered”.
This species is the second largest turtle in Malaysia and it can reach lengths of one metre and weigh about 180kg.
Last Wednesday, an oil spill stretching some 10km was spotted along Pantai Batu Hitam up to Pantai Pelindung.
A check yesterday showed that there was more oil slick along the Kampung Sungai Ular beach for some 5km.