September 17, 2015

NPS seeking turtle injured by man with spear-gun

  The National Park Service says that visitors reported an incident on Wednesday of a male with a spear-gun attempting to take a live sea turtle in the ocean waters under the old Cape Hatteras Fishing Pier in Frisco.

According to a posting by NPS officials on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Facebook Page, the sea turtle was struck in the back by the spear and was injured, but swam away.

The Park Service is jointly investigating the incident with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The suspect has been identified, and now NOAA is asking for assistance in locating the injured sea turtle. If anyone finds an injured or deceased sea turtle on Hatteras Island or Ocracoke beaches, please call the main park number, 252–473–2111. Anonymous information can be provided to the Dare Community Crime Line at 252-473-3111.

Five species of sea turtles are found around Cape Hatteras National Seashore—loggerhead (Caretta caretta), Kemp’s Ridley (LepIdochelys kempii), green (Cehlonia mydas), leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), and hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbriacata). All of them are either threatened or endangered species.

Violations involving an endangered species are punishable by fines of up to $50,000 and/or imprisonment of up to one year. Crimes involving threatened species are fines of up to $25,000 and/or imprisonment of up to six months.

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