MAILI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
A troubling discovery at a Leeward Oahu beach has many people outraged. Two dead sea turtles were seen at Maili Beach Park on Sunday and one of them was found in a charcoal bin surrounded by trash.
A Waianae family at the beach said it's not just wrong but extremely disrespectful.
"Not just throw it away and not doing anything, that's like throwing away your dog and just leaving it," said Waianae Valley resident Allen Kalamau.
"It's incredibly disheartening and even sickening to see an animal thrown away with the trash," said Kehau Watson-Sproat, owner of Honua Consulting.
Yellow caution tape is wrapped around the bin at Maili Beach Park where the dead turtle was surrounded by a case of bud light and other trash.
"These photos are horrifying because not only the disrespect that they show to these incredibly important creatures, but...prior to the commercialization of turtles as food products, these were animals that were highly revered in the Hawaiian culture, again, particularly amongst alii," Watson-Sproat said.
University of Hawaii students contracted by The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) confiscated the turtle for research around noon.?
“To the best of their ability they go out and try to find the animal that has washed up or is stranded somewhere to provide assistance if is injured and if it's dead, then they will collect the carcass and then take it back so that the agency can try to determine the cause of the death," said Pat Opay with the NOAA Fisheries Pacific Islands Regional Office.
Just a few hours before the students arrived, Kalamau and his family said another sea turtle had washed up on shore.
"I found out there was fishing net around the head and the arms so it was already dead by the time I got to the turtle, I just cut off all the fishing lines and we buried it in the sand," Kalamau said.
Opay says he understands why someone would want to bury the animal that is protected under theEndangered Species Act (ESA), but it's always best to call them so they can do a necropsy so they can find out exactly what happened.
To report injured or stranded turtles call:
Weekdays, 7AM-4PM (808) 725-5730
Weekends, holidays, after hours: (808) 288-5685 or 288-0023
Kauai: 808-725-5730, 274-3344 (DLNR)
Maui: 872-5190 (Kihei), 893-3172 (other areas), 837-3990 (DLNR)
Hawaii: 327-7780 (Hilo), 881-4200 (N. Kona), 327-6226 (S. Kona), 974-6208 (DLNR Hilo), 323-3141 (DLNR Kona)Copyright 2015 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved .