There are some animals that seemingly everyone just agrees not to eat. However, there are always those that still choose to go against the grain. Some people choose to eat cats, dogs, guinea pigs, and even sea turtles!
Thankfully, there are still those of us who are ready to rescue these animals whenever we see an opportunity to.
When Arron Culling visited his local market he saw sea turtles about to be sold for their meat- so he decided to do something about it.
This was the case for the New Zealand man, who stumbled upon two sea turtles at his local food market in Papua New Guinea. He writes on his Facebook post,
“found these at the local market got them for 50 bucks drove 5km up the road and let them go”
But this isn’t the first time Arron has rescued and released a sea turtle!
According to the Huffington Post, this isn’t the first time Culling has rescued and released sea turtles he’s found at markets. He states in the comments that he and his friends have rescued and released around eight sea turtles!
One friend, Sinead Culling-Bradley, comments on his post,
“true kiwi heart of gold right there! Turtles like that live to be older than us! Karma will come back to you when you least expect it Uncle Arron and it will be amazing! Amazing job”
For turtles in this area, their future is uncertain.
For turtles who end up in these types of markets, their future is most times already set. These turtles will be sold, killed, and then eaten, so to cross paths with Arron and some of his friends is one lucky sea turtle.
Since these turtles are juveniles they already know the lay of the land and won’t have any issues navigating through the sea.
Terry Norton, a veterinarian and a director of the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, told the Huffington Post that these turtles pictured have a lot of experience navigating the ocean, so they shouldn’t have any issues finding their way home.
However, sadly, this means they could also return to the place where they were captured in the first place.
But with people like Arron, these rescued turtles get another chance at living a free life.
Arron’s post of the rescue was met with immense admiration and quickly went viral.
Since Arron originally shared these photos in 2015 it’s since been shared over 90 thousand times. With over 30 comments appreciating Arron’s rescue.
“Nice mate!! Good work”
“Should be more people like you”
“Your a bloody legend mate heart of gold”
“You’re a good man … they are one of my favorites very beautiful and graceful creatures”
Sadly, the World Wildlife Federation reports that all seven species of sea turtles are now classified as endangered.
On the World Wildlife Federation website, they state that for over 100 million years sea turtles have covered large distances across the world. They note that they’re vital in balancing marine habitats.
They write there are about seven different species across our oceans. Unfortunately, over the last 200 years, humans have “tipped the scales” and have made survival very hard. They write,
“Slaughtered for their eggs, meat, skin and shells, sea turtles suffer from poaching and over-exploitation. They also face habitat destruction and accidental capture—known as bycatch—in fishing gear. Climate change has an impact on turtle nesting sites; it alters sand temperatures, which then affects the sex of hatchlings.”
Unfortunately because of this, all seven species of sea turtles are now classified as endangered and three of the seven are now listed as critically endangered.
For the turtles Arron has saved, he’s given them a second chance at life. Along with Arron, WWF is committed to stopping sea turtles from extinction and working towards the recovery of the species.
For more information on sea turtles and how to help, report threats, and more visit: https://www.worldwildlife.org/species/sea-turtle
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