Two hawksbill sea turtles were released at the seashore of Shangri-La’s Mactan Island Resort & Spa in Lapu-Lapu City yesterday.
The creatures were freed in simple rites witnessed by Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza and the resort’s resident manager Walid Wafik together with Task Force Kalikasan (TFK) headed by SPO1 Jomar Ybañez.
The estimated 6-year-old female sea turtle weighed 12.4 kilos and the male sea turtle weighed 7.5 kilos.
They were cared for by Fe Acuymo, a businesswoman dealing in tropical fishes used for display in restaurants and aquariums.
Acuymo, whose business is based in barangay Suba-basbas, bought the turtles from a fisherman for P200 each.
“I know it’s an endangered species but I bought them because they may be sold to someone who would slaughter them,” she said.
Radaza thanked Acuymo for turning over the turtles.
SPO1 Ybañez said this was the second time a sea turtle was turned over to them from barangay Kalawisan and barangay Suba-Basbas.
He said residents there have learned that endangered species, such as the sea turtles, should not be kept and should instead be freed into the sea. /Correspondent Norman V. Mendoza