Community still upset over Turtle's death

Pat Nehring
Pat Nehring
Michael Lyons
Michael Lyons

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

HALEIWA (KHNL) - The North Shore community is still shell-shocked after the brutal killing of a harmless turtle.

Authorities still don't know who did it. The Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle, affectionately known as "Honey Girl" was found dead at Laniakea beach on Saturday.

It's the day after, but for many, the pain still lingers.

"I'm heartbroken," Visitor Pat Nehring said. "It brings tears to my eyes to think that someone would be needlessly cruel to an animal that would never, ever hurt them and that we've lost a turtle, our world has lost a turtle is heartbreaking."

Michael Lyons is the North Shore Neighborhood Board president. He said whoever killed the turtle should be prosecuted to the fullest extent.

"Well the act is done," he said. "We cannot change that part, but we hope people become educated. They understand what they're doing is wrong. They know that if they need food, we have food banks, we have opportunities to get free food."

Visitors and locals stopped by this makeshift memorial Sunday to pay tribute to a popular turtle.

"The one thing we've always appreciated coming here is how protective the community is of the turtles and how important they are to their lives and their image and what hawaii is about," Nehring said.

With Sunday's killing, it's giving officials even more incentive to help find a way to protect the threatened species.

"The laws are in place," State Senator Clayton Hee said. "We can look at enhancing penalties beyond the one year, $50,000 fine, but at the end of the day, we still need enforcement.And it's very difficult to have someone everywhere all the time."

Turtle protection volunteers try their best to keep the turtles safe, but there's only so much they can do.

"There's not a lot of things we can do differently," Malama Na Honu volunteer Patrick Doyle said. "Most of our focus in the last 24 hours has really been to support our volunteer group as they're grieving about the loss."

A loss that stings the small North Shore community and its many visitors.

"If anything, it makes me want to come and be more a part of the protection of these wonderful animals," Nehring said.

Killing a green sea turtle is a felony. If caught, a person could face up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources urges people to call them at 643-DLNR if you have any information about this incident.