Photo of man and bloodied sea turtle stirs controversy over social media

Photo of man and bloodied sea turtle stirs controversy

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A photo spread through social media of a man appearing to bite a bloodied sea turtle's head has raised concerns of whether a sacred animal is being desecrated.

The image shows the man's teeth near the turtle's head aside another man smiling at the camera. While harming or killing a threatened sea turtle is illegal in Hawaii, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources said it's unclear if the photos were taken in Hawaii or in the Marshall Islands, where eating turtle is legal in some instances.

"There's a lot of anger in the cyber community right now, but what people have to understand is that I just can't be angry from the department's perspective, I have to have proof so that we can move forward with enforcement," said William Aila Jr., chairman of the DLNR.

The federal government is reviewing a petition to delist green sea turtles in Hawaii. If that happens, what these men appear to be doing would become legal.

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