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Probe leads to gruesome find of 100 turtle skeletons

 | September 28, 2017

Sabah Wildlife Department suspects sea gypsies are responsible for poaching activities but is continuing its probe.

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KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Wildlife Department’s investigation into a photo showing nine turtle carcasses on Pulau Bum-Bum has led to the gruesome discovery of more than 100 turtle skeletons scattered nearby.

According to the department’s director, Augustine Tuuga, the investigating team, comprising the department’s officers, Semporna marine police, police, Sabah Parks, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the Omadal Island Women Association went to the island this morning.

“The turtle carcasses were no longer in the area they were initially found. They are believed to have been washed out to sea.

“Only one carcass was found floating in the sea by the investigating team, confirming that the earlier report was true,” he said in a statement.

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He said further investigation into coastal villages around the island revealed that poaching activities had been going on for quite some time.

“An estimated 100 turtle skeletons were found scattered in the bushes nearby the beaches of Kg Pantau-Pantau, Kg Amboh-Amboh and Kg Sampolan,” he said.

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Tuuga also said the information gathered so far revealed that poaching was probably carried out by Bajau Lau or Palauh, who come to the area occasionally.

The Palauh, a sea gypsy community, do not live in the area but its people were always on the move by boat.

Tuuga also confirmed that some suspects had been identified and investigations were continuing.

On Wednesday, a photo showing nine green turtle carcasses, with their plastron missing, was circulated on social media.

The person who took the photo, said it was taken in Pulau Bum Bum. He had sent it to his nephew, who then uploaded it to Facebook.


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