A sea turtle is now recovering after enduring abuse from a group of people who dragged it out of a beach in Lebanon so they could take a selfie.
According to National Geographic, the endangered loggerhead sea turtle was pulled out of the shores at Havana beach in Rmeileh. Once on the beach, the sea turtle, who is a female, was then beaten in the head with sharp objects and sticks and was then used as a prop for a selfie as beach-goers took turns standing on her back. After their selfies had been taken, the sea turtle was then left for dead by the group.
Sea Turtle Recovering After Being Stepped on and Beaten for Selfieshttps://t.co/AvolICZ7sT
oh my – what’s with this selfie stuff?
— Marc Bekoff (@MarcBekoff) June 25, 2016
Thankfully, the sea turtle was rescued and was taken in by the charity Animals Lebanon to be rehabilitated. To ensure that the sea turtle receives the necessary care, the group is seeking the advice of the International Zoo Veterinary Group experts.
“The turtle has been given antibiotics and she is being taken for x-ray of her head,” a statement from the charity group read. “The damage is visible and evident – the blows and trauma she suffered have broken through the top of her head, and water from the sea has reached her sinus cavities. Hopefully the x-rays can rule out further damage and that the blows did not affected deeper into the skull.”
‘Selfie damaged’ sea turtle placed in pool for recovery https://t.co/U52uChACWz
— Steve C (@williedawgy) June 24, 2016
Along with Animals Lebanon, the Ministry of Agriculture and Civil Defense was also contacted to “make sure this sea turtle does not die from this unnecessary, avoidable, and illegal cruelty.”
Animals Lebanon later uploaded a video to their Facebook page that showed the condition in which the sea turtle was in after the cruelty she endured for someone to take a selfie. Not only can you tell the sea turtle was in pain, you could also see the injuries she sustained from the abuse- lacerations on her neck and cracks in her skull. The video was titled “Dying for a selfie???,” and since it was uploaded last week, it has been viewed over 50,000 times. Watch the heartbreaking video below.
Ironically, the severe abuse of the sea turtle took place just 48 hours before World Sea Turtle Day, which is celebrated on June 16. According to the Sea Turtle Conservancy, the day has been set aside each year to “honor and highlight the importance of sea turtles.” The group chose June 16 because it is the same day as Dr. Archie Carr’s, STC’s founder and “father of sea turtle biology,” birthday.
— One Green Planet (@OneGreenPlanet) June 23, 2016
“Dr. Carr will forever be remembered for the enhancement of the sea turtle conservation movement and the legacy he has left behind,” the website reads. “His research and advocacy brought the attention to the threatening conditions that continue to impact sea turtles. His work highlighted the issue and helped create the community that continues to strive for a better life and future for sea turtles.”
This isn’t the first time sea turtles have been abused for the entertainment of beach-goers. In August 2015, an incident very similar took place off the coast of Tyre. In this case, the sea turtle had made its way to the shore to lay its eggs, but was instead captured, beaten and photographed, Newsroom Nomad reports.
What do you think should happen to the people who tortured the sea turtle for a selfie? Leave your comments below.
[Photo via Shutterstock]