TAICANG, China--A Chinese fishing industry worker won't part with the body of an endangered loggerhead sea turtle that was tagged by a Japanese conservation group, even though he's being offered a virtual fortune for it.
Cui Yongchang said he believes the marine reptile is a precious being and wants to return it to researchers in Japan.
Cui discovered the body of the massive turtle in a disabled boat in the mouth of the Yangtze River in Jiangsu province on Dec. 1.
The loggerhead sea turtle, which had laid its eggs on a Kagoshima Prefecture beach in June, had been tagged by a conservation group.
The tag attached to the turtle's hind paw reads in English "Sea Turtle Association of Japan."
The association confirmed the tag was attached by a Kagoshima University sea turtle conservation group in June to a loggerhead sea turtle that arrived on Fukiagehama beach in Hioki, Kagoshima Prefecture, to lay its eggs.
The oceanic turtle's shell is 88 centimeters long and 85 cm wide.
When Cui, a resident of Taicang in Jiangsu province, was offered 50,000 yuan (about 600,000 yen or $7,700) for the turtle, he refused.
Cui said it should be "used for research in Japan" and has kept it refrigerated. He said he has declined all requests by people to sell them the turtle "at a high price."
Cui recalled an incident more than 10 years ago when a sea turtle was captured in a fishing net in this fishing village. When a fisherman tried to kill the turtle, a friend of Cui's bought it for around 2,000 yuan and released it in the sea.
The friend went on to be successful in his business, earning several hundred millions of yen. Cui said he learned to treasure sea turtles from his friend's experience.
- « Prev
- Next »