HAWKSBILL TURTLE RESCUED
A hawksbill turtle, believed to be around 40-50 years old, was found along the shore weak and wounded.
Maasim, Sarangani – A weak and wounded hawksbill turtle was rescued along the jetty area of Sarangani Energy Corporation (SEC) power plant near the award-winning Kamanga Marine Eco-Tourism Park and Sanctuary in Maasim municipality late November, this year.
SEC officials said the ‘pawikan’ was found along the shore by jetty security personnel Sunday, November 18, secured in a repository tub. They immediately coordinated to the Municipal Environment and Resources Office (Menro) and Philippine National Police (PNP) of Maasim.
The marine turtle, believed to be 40-50 years old, measures 100 cm. in curve carapace length and 100 cm. in curve carapace width, and weighs about 111 pounds. It was released on November 23 as authorities seen the wounds it sustained on its stomach and flippers were already healed. Authorities suspect the ‘pawikan’ was wounded by a boat propeller.
“Pawikans commonly surface to breathe and rest after dives… their behavioral habits commonly expose them to boat strikes,” said Forester Jessica Guilao, Protected Areas, Wildlife and Coastal Zone Management Section Chief, of the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (Cenro) in the nearby town of Kiamba.
The ‘pawikan’ salvaged by SEC was the biggest turtle ever rescued along the shores of Sarangani Bay, according to Guilao, who led its tagging and release at the LGU-Maasim’s Marine Turtle Hatchery at the Maasim Pawikan Conservation and Protection Center (MPCPC), a joint initiative of the DENR and the local government units (LGU) of Maasim and Lumasal, along with the Alcantara Foundation and SEC of the Alsons Power Group. Also joining the activity were municipal officials led by Menro Alejandra Sison, trained barangay MPCPC volunteers, PNP personnel and some of SEC employees.
Guilao added sighting and recovery of the mother hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) is rare considering Maasim and its nearby coastal towns Kiamba and Maitum are more popularly known to be nesting beaches of olive ridley turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea). /
Maasim, Sarangani - Forester Jessica Guilao, Protected Areas, Wildlife and Coastal Zone Management Section chief, of the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (3rd, left) and Maasim Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Officer Alejandra Sison (extreme right) are joined by barangay volunteers, PNP personnel and volunteer-employees of Sarangani Energy Corporation (SEC) during the tagging and release of a hawksbill turtle at the Maasim Pawikan Conservation and Protection Center on November 23.