Surfer's turtle ride causes outrage

Published: Oct. 27, 2011 at 11:03 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A picture posted late Wednesday night on Hawaii News Now's Facebook page of a surfer riding a turtle has sparked a controversy.

The underwater photo shows a man who appears to be riding an endangered Green Sea Turtle. Hundreds of people have commented on our Facebook page. Most are outraged.

"This enrages me a lot. I hope HPD, NOAA, and the State DLNR are involved in prosecuting these people," said Jake Smookler.

"Whenever I go to the beach and see a honu, I keep an eye on it to make sure no one bothers it. If someone gets too close, I scold them to leave it alone," said Mayra Perez.

The head of the local Sierra club says if the photo is legit, people should be outraged.

"Hawaii's turtles deserve better. This is not only disgraceful, but it's also potentially a violation of both federal and state law," said Robert Harris.

Not everyone considered the photo to be so provoking, though.

"I say share it, with a detailed explanation of why it's wrong. Lots of mainlanders aren't aware of the law, the penalty, or the reason behind the law, so it may reach some folks who otherwise wouldn't know," said Anne Jacobs Harrison.

There has been no comment yet from either the person who took the photo or the surfer.

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