Marine officers have rescued and released 43 sea turtles in Colombia. The animals were victims of trafficking, authorities said on Sunday.
“25 leatherback sea turtles were rescued from a ship. The turtles were found inside sacks and later released,” marine captain Andrés Fabián Crespo-Salom said. “Later and simultaneously, three grown olive ridley sea turtles were rescued inside a warehouse in the Tumaco municipality.”
“Finally, 15 turtles were found on the beach. They were released when they (traffickers) noticed the presence of the Marines. These species are in danger of extinction because of illegal poaching,” he added. All animals were released into the ocean.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) categorizes leatherback sea turtles and olive ridley sea turtles as vulnerable, as they currently face threats such as habitat destruction, fisheries bycatch, and pollution.
Leatherback sea turtles are the world’s largest sea turtles, known for their distinctive leathery shell instead of a hard, bony one. They primarily feast on jellyfish, often mistakenly consuming floating plastics. Renowned for their vast migratory routes and impressive diving abilities reaching over 4,000 feet, these turtles possess a unique blood vessel system, allowing them to thrive in colder waters.
Olive ridley sea turtles, named for their olive-colored backs, are one of the smaller sea turtles, weighing up to 100 pounds and reaching around 2 feet (0.6 meters) in length.
Found primarily in warm waters of the Pacific, Indian, and Southern Atlantic Oceans, these turtles are especially notable for their synchronized nesting in mass numbers, a phenomenon called arribadas. During these events, thousands of females come ashore simultaneously to lay their eggs.Donate