KOTA KINABALU - Carcasses of 19 endangered green turtles have been found in Sabah's northern Pulau Tiga about a year after wildlife rangers made a similar recovery on the same island.
Sabah Wildlife Department in a statement on Monday said that it had found the rotting green turtles carcasses on island following a tip off on Mar 5.
Wildlife officer for the west coast office Roland Nuin said it is believed that foreign fishermen had tried to smuggle out the turtles alive but failed due to sea patrols by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) and marine police.
Nuin said that there were no signs of any of the perpetrators on the desolate island.
"We highly suspect that these turtles were meant to be smuggled out alive by sea to a foreign country but due to the constant sea patrols, they failed to do so,'' Nuin said, adding that Pulau Tiga was a strategic location for smugglers as it is the closest Malaysian island to the Philippines.
Niun said that the case "looked very similar'' to the discovery of 50 rotting turtle about a year ago. Public with any knowledge of the incident can contact the Wildlife Department's 24-hour hotline at 012-8019289.