Signatures Needed! Demand Action Be Taken After Video Goes Viral of Villagers Riding A Vulnerable Leatherback Sea Turtle

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The vulnerable leatherback sea turtle is massive and can weigh up to 700 kgs and measure up to seven and a half feet in length. Their impressive size doesn’t necessarily mean that this ancient sea turtle can fend for itself. In fact, the world’s largest sea turtle is also the most endangered. 

Those facts alone make a recent scene caught on camera even more upsetting. A female leatherback had gone to shore to lay her eggs on a beach in Asukweri, Indonesia. The reptile had possibly swam for hundreds or thousands of miles to return to her preferred beach and was likely exhausted. After laying her eggs, she turned around and headed back to the water. That is when a group of villagers intercepted her and shockingly decided to ride the defenseless animal.

You can see the poor turtle struggling as she digs her flippers into the sand to be able to gain traction to push herself closer to the ocean. Before releasing her, more and more people piled on her back. One man is seen hopping on and posing while also having a snack on her back. In another instance, three people — two full grown adults and a baby — straddle the helpless animal.

The leatherback turtle already deals with a plethora of threats to its survival. Their eggs are harvested in some parts of the world, meaning that thousands of babies never even see the light of day. Others drown from fishing net entanglements or plastic pollution.

With the plethora of threats facing these vulnerable animals, they shouldn’t have to face this type of disrespectful treatment.

Please sign this Care2 petition to tell officials in Asukweri to find the people responsible for this cruelty and ask the government of Indonesia to step up measures to protect the sea turtles that nest on their shores. SIGN HERE!

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