Turtle found slaughtered on Oahu's North Shore

Patrick Doyle
Patrick Doyle
Joanne Pettigrew
Joanne Pettigrew

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

Haleiwa (KHNL) - There was gruesome discovery on the North Shore of Oahu Saturday morning.

"As I started to remove the sand from the mound, I realized that it was in fact a turtle," said Patrick Doyle, a volunteer for Malama Na Honu, a turtle protection group. He was the first one on-scene, as he found a threatened species of turtle slaughtered on a popular stretch of sand, known as Turtle Beach.

Some say this is a growing problem not only here on Oahu, but throughout the state.

Just a month ago, one was found dead in a dumpster in Haleiwa.

In an instant, a beautiful day for turtle watching turned into a nightmare for Doyle. Early Saturday morning, he noticed massive amounts of ants above a pile of sand, along with a flipper almost completely buried under there.

"Seeing the turtle, seeing what was left of the turtle I found this (Saturday) morning," Doyle said. "This turtle didn't appear as if it was slaughtered to feed somebody or for its meat. The majority of this turtle was left on the beach."

What made it worse was finding out that this turtle was one of the volunteers' favorites.

"She's one of the turtles that the volunteers recognize by sight when we see her on the beach," he said."This is a very big loss, not only for the volunteers, but as well for the North Shore community."

KHNL News8's camera was the only one there to video the dead turtle being carried away for further investigation.

"Seems to be a malicious act, it's beyond me to understand what goes through somebody's mind when they can do this to a creature," Doyle said.

The turtle protection group Malama Na Honu says despite all of its efforts to bring more awareness to protect these threatened animals, it seems it's still not enough.

"This is a problem that's been re-ocurring more and more where turtles have been murdered and slaughtered, even though they're protected under federal and state law," Malama Na Honu's Joanne Pettigrew said.

Doyle feels the same way.

"That something like this can be happening on this beach, when we're working so hard to teach people about protecting the turtles and that somebody could come down in the middle of the night and do this to a turtle on the beach," he said.

He hopes to never see horrifying images like this again.

Officials say they'll conduct a necropsy on the turtle sometime next week. Until then, their investigation will continue.