Cyprus Mail

Two arrested for mutilating protected loggerhead for its shell

File Photo: Loggerhead turtle

Limassol police have arrested two men suspected of killing a protected loggerhead sea turtle, or Caretta caretta, which they cut to pieces to remove its shell.

Police said the suspects, aged 41 and 27, were arrested on Friday after the discovery of the carcass in a rubbish bin.

They have since admitted to killing the protected species.

Police were notified because of the strong smell emanating from the steel dumpster. Officers found the dead creature, missing its shell and with its limbs chopped off.

They also found two saws.

Footage from a nearby security camera recorded the movements of two individuals seen removing the turtle from the boot of a car and dumping it in the bin.

The owner of the vehicle, along with another man, were later located and intercepted while in a different car, declared immobilized since August.

Police arrested both men and later searched the car owner’s home, finding a turtle shell.

The two face charges relating to the killing of a protected species, illegal possession of a protected species, as well as animal welfare offences.

They were charged and released to face court at a later date.

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