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Video of Turtle Being Harassed on Big Island Shoreline

May 15, 2017, 3:41 PM HST (Updated May 15, 2017, 3:43 PM) · 2 Comments
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KITV has reported that a man captured video of a turtle being harassed at Carlsmith Beach Park on the Big Island, the video shows people tugging on the turtle’s tail while trying to take a picture with it.

In the video you can see a man jump into the water next to the turtle and grab it by its tail. The man taking the video can be heard saying, “Why don’t you leave it alone?” A woman in the background responds, “because I want to have a picture with him and the turtle.” To view the video click here. Video Warning: strong profanity in the video.

According to the Department of Land and Natural Resources website officers can investigate if any witnesses, including the person who posted the video on Facebook, contacts the Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement at 643-DLNR, and is willing to make a report and testify to this incident, including identification of the person seen in the video.

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DLNR says there is no law specifying the minimum distance people need to stay away from a sea turtle. However, getting close to these animals may constitute a federal or state violation if the animal is disturbed or if your action has the potential to disturb its natural behavioral patterns. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminstration and DLNR recommend, for your safety and the animals’ protection, that everyone stay at least 10 feet from all sea turtles.

If maintaining this distance isn’t possible, keep safety in mind and move away from the animal as carefully as possible, avoiding sudden movements and other actions that might disturb the animal. For wildlife viewers, please enjoy from a distance – use binoculars and telephoto lenses to get the best views without disturbing the wildlife.

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