Tourists severely abused a turtle that ventured a little too close to a crowded beach in Lebanon. The beachgoers dragged the poor creature out of the sea and threw it on the shore for photos. Thereafter, a few people even beat the turtle and put their toddlers on its back, injuring the helpless animal.
A routine swim to shore turned into a horrendous nightmare for a sea turtle. Taking advantage of the defenseless reptile, a couple of tourists pulled it out of the sea and slammed it on the beach for a few photos. The torture of the creature unfortunately didn’t end there. Evidently, many senseless parents placed their young ones on top of the creature for a piggyback ride.
According to eyewitnesses, the sea turtle was severely beaten by one of the beach-goers who removed it from the sea and threw it on the shore, just for the sake of entertainment and to take pictures of it. After the photos, a few parents even forced one of their kids to climb atop the reptile, reported The Dodo. While eyewitness accounts vary, a few say the kid wasn’t even ready to climb on the turtle but was forcibly placed there and made to stomp on it. The child appeared to be crying, but the parents paid no heed. Another person is believed to have hit the poor creature with a long stick.
“We were not present when the turtle came to shore and have to rely on pictures and accounts of people who were present. Luckily, other people were there who did care and stopped this and helped get the turtle to a safe area.”
Animals Lebanon, a local animal rescue group, was among the volunteers that were contacted. Members of the group assisted in stopping the abuse and helped assist the civil defense authorities, who transferred the abused sea turtle to their center in Al-Mina region. The organization confirmed that the turtle was treated for injuries. It added that the turtle was in “critical” condition.
According to a preliminary medical examination, the medical team concluded that the creature suffered extensively due to the beating it suffered on the beach. They added that it will need multiple X-rays to assess the internal damage to its bone structure and organs. Animals Lebanon have volunteered to provide the veterinary care the turtle needed. The team will try to return the sea creature to the ocean, added Mier,
“The turtle has a very evident spot on his skull, the very top of his head, where he has been hit. There is a noticeable depression in the head where the bone has been damaged and sea water is able to enter the bone. A small amount of pressure around this area and the water seeps back out.”
There have been quite a few incidents wherein sea creatures have been paraded for photos and selfies. According to the rescue group, this is the third turtle that was yanked out of the water by inhumane tourists. While this one survived the ordeal, some of the earlier ones didn’t make it.
[Photo by Agung Parameswara/Getty Images]