Two sea turtles that had been pulled from their home in the ocean and sold as food in Papua New Guinea, were surely facing certain death. But, because of one man's compassion, they found themselves headed home instead.
For less than 40 U.S. dollars, Arron Culling and one of his co-workers purchased the turtles' their freedom. They later shared their photos of the spontaneous rescue operation on social media.
"Found these at the local market," wrote Culling on Facebook on Thursday, "got them for 50 bucks, drove 5km up the road and let them go."
And in case you're wondering, these aren't the first turtles that these men have bought and set free. According to Culling, he and his co-worker have purchased and released about 10 lucky turtles.
Even though six of the world's seven species of sea turtle are listed as endangered or vulnerable, marine turtle fishing continues to be legal in most of the world. This includes places like Papua New Guinea, Australia and Mexico, where communities along the coast harvest turtles for their meat and their shells.
It was recently estimated that over 42,000 sea turtles are legally killed every year, and hundreds of thousands more are believed to die after they get caught in commercial fishermen's nets, which are meant to catch other sea animals.
To find out more about how we can help protect these amazing creatures, visit the Sea Turtle Conservancy's website.
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