Photo by Cecilia Mendioro Gendrano.
Until recently, if you visited a place called Turtle Island in the Philippines, locals offered you the opportunity to take photos of a big, beautiful turtle for 5 pesos (about 0,09 euros). This was a pawikan sea turtle
, which is an endangered species. When it wasn’t on display for tourists, it was tied up. But thanks to a concerned citizen, it is now back in the ocean.
Local residents and environmentalists bring the turtle back to the sea. Photo by Cecilia Mendioro Gendrano.
A woman named Rochelle Prado wrote up a petition on the site Change.org
, explaining that “the locals are the best stewards of endangered species within their vicinity, yet there is a lack of awareness about the need for these creatures to be set free and left undisturbed in their natural habitat.” The petition quickly garnered more than 1,600 signatures.
This brought the problem to the attention of the local environmental defence authorities, which immediately ordered the turtle to be set free.
Local residents watch as the turtle makes its way back to the water. Photo by Cecilia Mendioro Gendrano.