A leatherback turtle was on Monday morning discovered on the Number 63 Beach, Corentyne, Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne).
The leatherback turtle, a protected species in Guyana, is the largest of all living turtles and is the fourth-heaviest modern reptile in the world.
The discovery was made about 06:30h. The turtle, measuring 1.68 metres by 1.07 metres (5 and 1/2 feet by 3 and 1/2 feet), was discovered by Ameer Bacchus, who went to the beach for a morning jog.
There were tracks on the beach stretching more than one mile which indicated that the animal had been moving around.
The tracks had to be made after the tide receded on Monday morning. The turtle’s left back flipper was severed. Other marks on the body indicated that the animal was killed. Some of its intestines was protruding, and the female turtle had also lost one of its eyes.
It is believed that the marine animal might have been killed by persons who operate from the Number 63 Beach. Persons who monitor animals on the beach say it is not the first time that such animals have been trapped on the beach; many fisherfolk go after them to get the meat.
From March through to August of each year, leatherback sea turtles can be found on parts of the coast. They are protected in Guyana by the Fisheries Act of 2002 and Protected Areas Act of 2011.
Meanwhile, there have been reports that some turtles have washed up on the Number 63 Beach and have had difficulty finding their way back to the water. However, not all fisherfolk have been kind to them.
Leatherback turtles are critically endangered.