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  Yahoo News 2 Oct 07
Quakes sweep endangered turtles from Indonesia to Malaysia

The Star 1 Oct 07
Currents and quakes believed to be reason why turtles are here
By Sira Habibu

ALOR STAR: Strong currents due to the recent earthquakes and aftershocks are believed to have washed the 50 Olive Ridley turtles to "unfamiliar" shores in Air Itam near here.

The turtles, known as penyu lipas among the locals, were pushed together with logs, bottles and other garbage.

Of the 50 penyu lipas that ended up on the shores of Kuala Tunjang in Ayer Hitam in Kedah, two were found dead while six others were injured.

State Fisheries director Sani Mohd Isa said the turtles could have sustained injuries when they were crushed between logs or trapped in nets.

“We found lacerations on some of the turtles. We fear that villagers may have released some of the injured turtles back to the sea without realising they are hurt and need to be treated first,” he said.

The turtles were washed ashore on Saturday morning, he said, adding that it was the first time that turtles landed on Kuala Tunjang beach.

Fisheries personnel managed to save some of the turtles that were trapped between logs and stuck in the muddy shores on Monday.

“The injured turtles will be treated in Pulau Sayak. After recovery, the turtles will be released from Pantai Merdeka,” Sani said, adding that the turtles could not be released from Kuala Tunjang because the beach was too muddy.

He noted that the logs and bottles were believed to be from Indonesia based on the labels found.

“The logs are also not familiar in this part of the country. We believe the logs and uprooted trees were washed here by strong currents and wind,” he said.

Sani said the lost turtles were from the same endangered Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys Olivacea) species.

“We do have penyu lipas in our waters. But we are not sure if the turtles that we found here were from Indonesian waters,” he said.

Turtle and Marine Ecosystem Centre chief Kamarruddin Ibrahim said investigations would be carried out to ascertain how the turtles ended up on unfamiliar shores.

Yahoo News 2 Oct 07
Quakes sweep endangered turtles from Indonesia to Malaysia

Strong currents swept at least 50 endangered Hawksbill turtles from Indonesia to Malaysia after recent earthquakes, an official said Tuesday. The turtles were found Saturday by local villagers in debris washed ashore on a beach in Kuala Tunjang, Kedah state official Sani Mohamad Isa told AFP.

"The turtles landed on a muddy beach along with rubbish such as bottles that bore Indonesian labels. We suspect they are from the Sumatra area," Sani said.

"In the last few days, it has been windy and the sea was quite rough," he added.

Sumatra, separated from Malaysia by the narrow Malacca Strait, has been hit by a series of earthquakes since last month.

Sani said villagers and officials released the turtles back into the sea except for two that had already died and another four that were injured. The injured Hawksbills will be treated and released after they have recovered, he said.

Sani said although turtles have been sighted in northern Malaysian waters, they have never been seen at Kuala Tunjang as the beach is not sandy.

"In the last five to 10 years, we had sightings of only one or two and that was on Langkawi island, not in Kuala Tunjang. What we found on Saturday is very rare," he said.

The World Conservation Union lists the Hawksbill turtle and Leatherback turtle as critically endangered.

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