KOTA KINABALU: A photograph of a protected sea turtle being sat on and its head stepped on, most likely taken on a boat, is making its rounds in the social media.
It is not known who those people are (as their faces were all blurred), where they are from or even if the picture was taken anywhere in Sabah.
However, the photo is causing furore online, as social media users on Facebook and WhatsApp condemned the act, saying it was abuse and a total inconsideration towards the wildlife.
Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Christina Liew said from what she saw in the photo, it was clear that those in it have committed an offence.
“Turtles are fully protected species in Sabah, these people (I’m not sure if they are tourists or where they are from) are abusing the turtle by sitting on it and stepping on its head,” she said.
She said she had directed the Sabah Wildlife Department director Augustine Tuuga to investigate further.
Liew said regardless whether the offenders were tourists or locals, they clearly do not appreciate Sabah’s wildlife.
“Everyone must respect our laws in protecting our wildlife species,” she said.
She hopes to get more information on the incident so that action can be taken against the offenders.