A turtle said to be over 100 years old has been killed by poachers on the Yemeni island of Socotra. An image posted online by a local activist claims that the turtle had been hunted and transported through military points belonging to the UAE and Saudi occupation forces on the island.
سلحفاة سقطرية نادرة يتجاوز عمرها الف سنه
تم إصطيادها ونقلها عبر النقاط الأمنية وعرضها للبيع.
المليشيات السعودية/الإماراتية تدفع 70 ألف لشراء السلاحف النادرة.
ندعوا المجتمع الدولي والمنظمات الدولية لحماية أرخبيل سقطرى من العبث بالتاريخ والبيئة السقطرية الذي يمارسه الغزاة المجرمين pic.twitter.com/oZmDwdX8oh
— الشيخة . أم هماس السقطري (@kalimba_2020) June 9, 2020
According to the Socotra Post, the occupation forces have been offering locals up to $280 (or approximately 70,000 Yemeni riyals) for the rare turtles, in addition to engaging in illegal fishing operations.
Sources also disclosed to the Post that employees of the environmental protection offices have been unable to perform their duties for three years due to the practices of the Saudi-led coalition forces, and that awareness-raising, extension and environmental protection activities have been completely suspended.
The Socotra Archipelago was inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2008 and is known for its unique biosphere including flora and fauna. There are hundreds of species of coral, coastal fish, and crustaceans. The island also serves as a nesting site for endangered loggerhead and green sea turtles.
Locals have also been known to eat turtles for their meat and their oil is believed to have healing powers. Although slaughtering turtles is no longer allowed and awareness has been raised, poaching persists.