245 freshwater turtles saved after being released into the sea

245 freshwater turtles had to be rescued on Sunday after they were released into the sea as part of a Taoist religious ritual.

The alarm was raised at around 11am after a woman reported seeing a family and a Taoist priest throwing a bag of turtles into the sea in Tsuen Wan. Freeing caged animals is thought to bring good fortune according to Taoist and Buddhist beliefs.

Staff from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) spent a number of hours rescuing the turtles from the water. While most were in good health, some were suffering from cracked shells and abrasions. It is believed that the injuries may have been caused by them landing on rocks when they were released.

According to reports, this is the third incident in which red-eared slider turtles have been released in Hong Kong in recent months. Releasing freshwater turtles into saltwater is illegal in Hong Kong.

Image: Ming Pao News www.news.mingpao.com

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