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11 endangered green turtles found slaughtered in Malaysia

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Wildlife officials found green turtles while patrolling near the town of Semporna in Sabah State

Kuala Lumpur:

Eleven endangered turtles have been found slaughtered in the Malaysian part of the island of Borneo, members of an indigenous, ocean-dwelling community suspected of targeting for food, officials said on Monday.

Wildlife officials found green turtles on Friday while patrolling near the town of Semporna in Sabah state.

Sabah Wildlife Department director Augustine Tuga said they also found sacks of suspected turtle meat, a stove and a knife at the scene. Efforts are on to nab the culprits but no arrest has been made.

Targeting protected turtles in Malaysia is a crime, punishable by prison terms and fines.

The department said such crimes in the area are usually perpetrated by the Bajau Lut, a community of sea-dwelling nomads who usually live on boats off Borneo.

The vast island is shared between Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei.

The green turtle is one of the largest sea turtles, and is classified as endangered by the conservation group International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

They face many threats, including being targeted by poachers, being caught in fishing gear, and having their eggs hatched.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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