Sea Turtle Found Dead with a Spear Through Its Head at a Florida National Park Prompting Manhunt
Officials at the Biscayne National Park are investigating a poached sea turtle found this week
Authorities are asking for help from the public to catch the killer of a sea turtle that was found with a spear through its head.
The turtle was discovered earlier this week in Florida’s Biscayne National Park, which is located south of Miami in the Florida Keys.
“Biscayne National Park Marine Patrol Officers are investigating a poached sea turtle that was discovered with a spear shaft through its head,” the park said in an announcement on Facebook. “🚨 🚔 If you have any information about the poached sea turtle, please contact Biscayne National Park dispatch at 305-242-7740.”
The park included the hashtags “please report” and “keep biscayne beautiful” in the post.
Many patrons of the park shared their sadness for the turtle in the comments on the post, which included a short video of the turtle floating in the water.
“Just revolting…I hope they find the culprit and they are heavily fined and jailed!” one Facebook user commented.
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“This truly speaks volumes of cruelty! Let’s hope and pray that whoever did this will be found, arrested, and punished to the fullest extent of the law!” added another user.
“That just breaks my heart, people are horrible,” said another.
Sea turtles are protected under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as well as Florida’s Marine Turtle Protection Act. According to the state’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, “the take, possession, disturbance, mutilation, destruction, selling, transference, molestation, and harassment of marine turtles, nests or eggs” is restricted under Florida law.
The turtle’s killer could face up to a $50,000 fine or up to a year in prison, according to CNN.
Florida’s sea turtles face several obstacles, including illegal harvesting, habitat encroachment and pollution, let alone poaching, according to the FWCC’s website.