By Roel Pareño
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — An endangered big sea turtle was rescued by villagers and released back to the seas in a coastal village in this city, an official said Friday.
City Mayor Celso Lobregat, a wildlife advocate who led the release, said the 38-kilogram Olive Ridley sea turtle was recovered by the villagers Thursday night in Barangay Bolong after spotting it on the shore.
“The residents, who were aware of the protection of wildlife program the city has, immediately recovered the marine animal before [went] to the wrong hands,” Lobregat said.
The recovered sea turtle, measuring 65 by 65 centimeters, was given a metal tag by the Protected Area and Widlife (PAW) to protect it from any poacher before it was released Friday morning.
Luiz Lozano, PAW specialist, said the Olive Ridley is considered as endangered species and so far the sixth kind of species of marine turtle recovered or rescued in this southern port city.