Brutal beating of endangered species lands 3 in police custody

A turtle shell recovered from the crime scene yesterday. Two men and a woman were taken into police custody for allegedly harming an endangered species.

Three persons were taken into custody in connection with the brutal killing of an endangered sea turtle yesterday. 

The 41-second video of the brutal slaying went viral on social media Tuesday which showed a man allegedly beating the turtle in the head with a hammer while the animal thrashed around trying to escape the blows.

Police arrested two men and a women in Grand Bahama shortly after 8:00 a.m on Wednesday and the officers also recovered 11 bags of turtle meat and one turtle shell.

Bahamas National Trust (BNT) Science Officer, Scott Johnson, told Eyewitness News that while the incident is unfortunate, it shines a light on issues that have been long ignored.

“Enforcement in The Bahamas has always been a challenge and we do not have enough manpower to enforce wildlife infractions,” he said.

“Fortunately for us, the Royal Bahamas Defense Force [and] the Royal Bahamas Police Force have been working with the BNT to help us with the infractions.”

Johnson said his office received information about a man in possession of the turtle on Tuesday.

“… the way that he dealt with the turtle was horrible in fact, he shouldn’t have had the turtle in the first place because… turtles have been protected since September 1, 2009, so no marine turtle in The Bahamas can be legally caught or consumed and so this gentlemen is blatantly breaking the law.”

The capture of a sea turtle carries a fine of up to $3,000 and/or one year in prison. In a press statement, the Royal Bahamas Police Force stressed that anyone found in breach of the Fisheries Act will be arrested and hauled before the courts.