Date
22 October 2017
A lifeguard helps save a sea bass. Semi-aquatic slider turtles have been rescued off Tsuen Wan but dozens are in critical condition. Photos: Metro Daily, tvb.com
A lifeguard helps save a sea bass. Semi-aquatic slider turtles have been rescued off Tsuen Wan but dozens are in critical condition. Photos: Metro Daily, tvb.com

SPCA seeks police probe into ritualistic release of turtles

Freshwater animals are dying in droves after being released in religious ceremonies and ending up in the sea.

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) has asked the police to investigate, Apple Daily reports.

The animals are released to the sea as part of a ritual by religious groups that worship Guanyin, the goddess of mercy.

On Thursday, four red-eared freshwater slider turtles were plucked from the sea off Tsuen Wan by SPCA volunteers after they were freed in a cult offering.

It was the fourth such incident in the past two months.

Nearly a dozen sea bass were found dead.  

Marine police later boarded a boat and took down the names of its occupants.

The red-eared sliders, a semi-aquatic turtle popular as pets in some parts of the world, are especially vulnerable in saltwater, according to SPCA.

Nearly 250 saved off Anglers’ Beach in Tsuen Wan on Sunday are in critical condition, it said.

Apple Daily reporters spotted a boat belonging to a Kwai Chung monastery believed to have been involved in the rituals.

When contacted, its staff refused to let the reporters in.

A SPCA manager said the number of ritualistic releases of marine animals has been increasing since the beginning of the year.

The group is nursing 300 rescued red-eared slider turtles.

Those interested to adopt them can call 2232 5529 and pay HK$20 for each.

Nearly 250 freshwater turtles saved at Tseun Wan beach (Aug. 29, 2016)

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TL/AC/RA

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