Sea turtle wounded in Puglia with a speargun: the shaft stuck between the neck and the carapace
A Caretta caretta was seriously injured with a speargun off the coast of Torre Pali, in Puglia. The vets are trying to save her life.
A specimen of sea turtle Caretta caretta was seriously injured with a shot of speargun which hit it in full between the carapace and the neck. The infamous attack on the placid reptile was consumed in the Ionian Sea, off the coast of Torre Pali, a renowned seaside resort in the province of Lecce (Puglia). The dramatic images shared on Facebook by the Sea Turtle Recovery Center of the Natural History Museum of Salento in Calimera show the animated suffering lying on the deck of a boat, with bad bleeding wounds and staying still stuck in the body.
Fortunately, the turtle was spotted at sea and saved thanks to the intervention of Maria Luisa Carratta and Piervincenzo Damiani, who recovered it “with no little difficulty”, as specified by the recovery center that is taking care of it. From the images, it seems that together with the turtle the rifle used to hit it was also recovered.
Probably those who made this ignoble gesture were surprised by the reaction of the animal, which managed to snatch the weapon from his hand – a crossbow, a rubber band speargun – while on the run (Caretta Caretta are strong and dive very quickly).
Or whoever threw the shot tried to extract the shaft from the animal’s body, but he was unable to do so due to the locking mechanism, thus being forced to abandon the weapon. The discovery of the speargun could help identify the person responsible for this barbarism.
What is certain is that the sea turtle has suffered a terrible injury and must suffer greatly. His rescuers broke the shaft leaving only a small segment of the body protruding from the body. Surely she will undergo a delicate surgery to remove the part stuck in the flesh.
Unfortunately, no information has been disclosed on her health conditions; the hope is that she can be rescued by the vets and be back in the big blue as soon as possible. The shared photographs were commented by the Calimera center with an eloquent phrase – “The images speak for themselves” – followed by thanks for those who brought the reptile to safety.
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The Caretta caretta is a highly protected turtle and anyone who voluntarily injures or kills a specimen commits a serious crime, severely punished. Their specie is also classified as vulnerable (code VU) in the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), this means that it is threatened with extinction, as indeed are all seven species of sea turtles that live in the seas and oceans of the Earth.
Even the death of a single specimen is a significant damage to biodiversity. Unfortunately, many specimens lose their lives due to ingestion of plastic (for example they exchange the bags with their favorite prey, the jellyfish), of collisions with boats or because they stay trapped in fishing nets, both those legally placed and those “ghost”, abandoned.
Some specimens are also brutally killed by fishermen, as happened to the poor Gaetana in the Mar Piccolo, in front of Taranto. She was hit to death with oars on the head and tied to a boulder to make the carcass disappear.