A number of people including children and adults riding the back of a turtle which came out on the beach to lay eggs has recently surfaced online.
In the video, an elderly man can be seen sitting on the back of a leather-back sea turtle with the other men actively encouraging him.
One man can be seen a little indifferent to the situation as if it’s not a great deal and stands at some distance holding a tree branch. Some more people, including a man having some snacks, follow suit and ride the turtle. Surprisingly, one of the ‘riders’ even has a juvenile with him.
After a few moments, one of the men can be seen throwing sand on the helpless turtle and abusing it by grabbing one of its flippers.
The man then crosses all limits of cruelty as he stands on the rear flippers of the poor soul as it tries to get back to the sea.
While the disturbing video, reportedly filmed at the Asukweri beach, Indonesia, sparked outrage on various social media forums, the relevant authorities of the area haven’t yet paid any heed to it.
The internet users have been calling the people featured in the video to be cruel, vile, and senseless for such ill-treatment of the voiceless creature.
The turtle seen in the video is known as leather-back sea turtle, leathery turtle, or lute turtle.
It is the largest turtle variety in the world, and the fully-grown individuals of this species can weigh over 500 kg.
World Wildlife Fund has put leather-back turtle on the list of vulnerable species, owing to its rapidly declining population over the last few years.
The threat to this vulnerable animal is not due to natural predators but due to man-made reasons. Plastic pollution, lobster traps, and fishing nets are the core causes of its declining population.
The major source of diet for leather-back turtles is jellyfish but, unfortunately, they mistake floating pieces of plastic for jellyfish, choke on them and suffocate to death.
Leather-back turtles depend on the beaches for nesting (that’s why the turtle in the video appeared on the beach) so they are also being affected by habitat loss.
With rising sea levels, coastal development, and the increased exposure of beaches to humans and vehicles, the locations for these animals to lay eggs are swiftly declining.