CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — An endangered green sea turtle was found speared to death Monday morning along the Packery Channel jetties on Padre Island, and authorities are now looking for witnesses.
It was during the early morning hours Monday when someone came across the sea turtle, according to Game Warden Lerrin Johnson with the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD). It had been shot through with a spear gun and was dead.
Killing a green sea turtle is a violation of the Endangered Species Act, and Johnson said that could come with criminal and civil penalties including up to $50,000 in fines.
There are no suspects at this time, but Johnson said game wardens are hoping somebody saw something.
"We're asking if anybody was out there this morning when this violation occurred," Johnson said, adding that a call leading to an arrest can earn you up to $1,000 in reward money.
Another $1,000 in reward money is being offered by a private citizen not associated with TPWD's Operation Game Thief (OGT).
"It's important that this person be caught, or people, whoever it is, and brought to justice" Lee Harrison said, who is a member of Friends of the ARK, a non-profit that supports the Animal Rehabilitation Keep (ARK) in Port Aransas. "This is inexcusable. We have enough to contend with with things that we can't control for somebody to go out and do such an evil act... no. Not on our watch. Not happening."
If you were out there and may have witnessed something that can help authorities find whoever is responsible, call the OGT Tip Line at 1-800-792-4262.
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