Horrifying video shows Indonesian locals riding distressed sea turtle
A disturbing video of Indonesian locals riding a clearly distressed giant sea turtle has surfaced.
The nearly 4-minute video, which was taken on July 5, shows several men jumping on the back of an endangered leatherback turtle as it makes its way toward the ocean. The locals apparently captured it after it laid eggs on Asukweri beach, according to UNILAD.
At the beginning of the clip, an elderly man sits on the turtle and poses for the camera while three others look on. A younger man then jumps on the turtle and casually eats a snack without any regard for the turtle's suffering.
Another man and a child join in on the fun before a fifth person squeezes himself on top of the turtle and puts his feet on its head. As the video progresses, more locals attempt to hop on the turtle's back before it gets into the water — one man even stands on the sea creature's flippers for amusement.
Though Indonesia does have regulations that protect sea turtles and advises locals to leave sea turtle mothers alone, local authorities have yet to comment on the video.
Leatherback turtles get their name from the texture of their shells, which resemble leather rather than the hard shell typical of most turtles, according to the World Wildlife Fund. They are the largest turtle species and frequently migrate across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. In the last century, however, their population has declined due to egg collection and fisheries bycatch, the organization notes.