Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) of Iriga reported that a 200-kilo leatherback turtle, or Pawikan, has been found dead on Sunday in Bula, Camarines Sur.

Initial investigation showed that the turtle looked to have suffered from the entangled ropes found in its body, which prevented it from swimming up to breathe.

It is also believed that fishermen may have attempted to catch the turtle, but because it was too big – 200 kilograms and 138 centimeters in length – the catchers backed off and left it as it is.

The carcass was then buried 200 meters off the shoreline of Barangay Caraosan, the same place where it had been found.

Leatherback turtles are known to be the world’s largest turtles, with their population declining drastically because of illegal poaching, according to Maritime Review.

International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) listed the species as internationally vulnerable since 2013, which meant it faced high risk extinction in the wild.

To prevent any more casualties, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region V continues to call on the public to help in reporting any wildlife that needs assistance, so they could be returned to their natural habitats safely.

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