Sabah Wildlife Dept still unable to identify source in viral photo of abused turtle


Photo from social media

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah wildlife authorities are still not able to find the source behind a viral photo, believed taken on a boat, which showed a turtle being abused.

Sabah Wildlife Department director Augustine Tuuga said all personnel in the department are involved in finding out the source of the photo, and to investigate whether the incident happened in Sabah.

“So far, we have yet to get any information as to who took the photo, where it was taken, and who the perpetrators are,” he said.

The photo, which shows a person sitting on a turtle with another stepping on it, had made its rounds on social media like Facebook and on messaging app WhatsApp.

The incident has caused an online fury among Malaysians, who described the actions of the offenders as “cruel, evil and brainless”.

They also called on the authorities to investigate the matter and take action against the offenders.

Turtles are one of the protected species in Sabah.

Tuuga said the department's taskforce comprising members from various enforcement agencies, non-governmental organisations and tour operators too, are not able to provide any information at the moment.

“We will try our best to find out who these people are, whether they are local or foreign tourists, when and where the incident happened,” he told The Star on Monday (Jan 7).

Tuuga also reminded all tour operators and tourists to take care of the flora and fauna and abide by the rules when travelling in Sabah.

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