Endangered sea turtle rescued from shore in wake of Indonesian tsunami

Four rescue workers safely returned the marine reptile to the ocean

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A green sea turtle local to the region (Wikipedia image)

A green sea turtle local to the region (Wikipedia image)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A rescue team was surprised to discover a rare sea turtle among the marine debris mottling shores after the disastrous tsunami that hit Indonesia on Dec. 22.

AFP reports four rescue workers were required to carry the endangered reptile back to the ocean today (Dec. 28).

“The turtle was really large, and it got stuck in a pile of rubbish, lying almost upside down,” one worker told a news reporter. He said the animal was “probably around 30 kilograms.”

The discovery comes as the latest in a string of turtle rescues over the past week. The animals were all returned to the sea after checks to ensure they had not sustained any wounds.

"For us, all lives matter. Human or animal—we'll try to rescue them all," the rescuers declared, promising to look out for other stranded marine creatures.

Last week’s tsunami was triggered by a major eruption from the Anak Krakatau volcano, which has produced continuous low-scale eruptions for years, local experts say. Citizens were not afforded the warning signals earthquakes usually give, so many had no time to escape.

It is thought the tsunami was triggered by underwater landslides set off by the eruption. Indonesian authorities are currently developing a new warning system to avoid future casualties around the Sunda Strait.

Currently, around 430 people have been declared dead as a result of the disaster. Authorities expect the figure to continue rising.

Six Taiwanese citizens were caught in the tsunami, but all were safely rescued. Taiwan has donated US$500,000 to the relief fund.