Endangered Sea Turtles To Be Killed After Experiment

Green sea turtle. Photo: Wilfried Wittkowsky (CC)

Green sea turtle. Photo: Wilfried Wittkowsky (CC)

Controversial news that’s causing an uproar. The Vancouver Sun reports:

Endangered green sea turtles that have been part of a University of B.C. research project for more than 10 years will be killed sometime this spring.

Bill Milsom, head of UBC’s zoology department, said seven turtles will be killed in order to complete a study into turtle diving depths. The turtles are at least 10 years old and can live to be 30.

The study was designed to measure the impacts of climate change on the animals and to help countries develop policies around fishing.

More than 85,000 green sea turtles died as “bycatch in the fishing industry” between 1990 and 2008, Milsom said. By studying diving depths, researchers could recommend how deep fish nets should be placed to avoid catching the turtles.

Asked why kill an endangered species, Milsom said “they were brought in for these experiments [at UBC] and as part of those experiments, it requires harvesting the tissues.”

As the research progressed, he said, the studies became more invasive. Initially, tiny pacemaker-like devices were implanted under the turtles’ skin to measure impacts of climate change.

“The final experiments require major surgery,” Milsom said.

They are necessary to “help us understand why these animals have such high mortality when caught in trawl nets in warming oceans.”

At the end of the surgery and measurements, the anesthesia will be increased until the turtles die, Milsom said.

A spokesman for an animal rights group said it makes no sense to kill an endangered species and questions why the turtles can’t be spared to “live out their final days in peace.”…

for more information, see original article or an article on the same topic at The Huffington Post.

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  • Strummingbabe

    just put trackers on the damn turtles to see how far they diev dive fucking stupuid turtle killing motherfuckers

    track the turtles with a tracking device dont kill them

  • Strummingbabe

    just put trackers on the damn turtles to see how far they diev dive fucking stupuid turtle killing motherfuckers

    track the turtles with a tracking device dont kill them

    • great

      you’re right also why aren’t we flying flying ships to mars yet? just put a giant rocket on a car and point it up and you’re there! geez science is easy!!!!!!

      • Golchab

        strummingbabe was angry at the decision to kill the turtle at the end. this has nothing to do with mars, or brenden frasier. Great-not.

        but we don’t have enough to really fight about here. they aren’t saying what they are doing with the tissues,perhaps testing as we can assume it won’t be stored in a kleenex box.

        • great

          you’re right, it does have nothing to do with mars or brenden frasier (where did you get that from?) its about pretending that science is as easy as looking at a problem that you’re unfamiliar with and assuming the solution you made up in a second is better then the one being worked on by people actually trained and educated in the field. golchab-duh

          they’re going to kill 7 turtles that you can’t even reintroduce to the wild to prevent another 85,000 from dieing and people are acting like its the worst thing in the world

          • McDooky

            Nothing should ever be about Brenden Frasier since he hasn’t ever really made a good movie.

  • great

    you’re right also why aren’t we flying flying ships to mars yet? just put a giant rocket on a car and point it up and you’re there! geez science is easy!!!!!!

  • Anon

    “…help us understand why these animals have such high mortality when caught in trawl nets in warming oceans.”

    Sounds like they found the cause… no need to kill them now right? Right?

  • Anon

    “…help us understand why these animals have such high mortality when caught in trawl nets in warming oceans.”

    Sounds like they found the cause… no need to kill them now right? Right?

  • Golchab

    strummingbabe was angry at the decision to kill the turtle at the end. this has nothing to do with mars, or brenden frasier. Great-not.

    but we don’t have enough to really fight about here. they aren’t saying what they are doing with the tissues,perhaps testing as we can assume it won’t be stored in a kleenex box.

  • great

    you’re right, it does have nothing to do with mars or brenden frasier (where did you get that from?) its about pretending that science is as easy as looking at a problem that you’re unfamiliar with and assuming the solution you made up in a second is better then the one being worked on by people actually trained and educated in the field. golchab-duh

    they’re going to kill 7 turtles that you can’t even reintroduce to the wild to prevent another 85,000 from dieing and people are acting like its the worst thing in the world

  • Zel

    Sounds like there is more to this “experiment” if the turtles cannot live out their lives after they collect their information.
    I am losing more and more faith in the human race each day. And to make matters worse, now their killing endangered turtles with no real reason, good job ASSHOLES.

  • Zel

    Sounds like there is more to this “experiment” if the turtles cannot live out their lives after they collect their information.
    I am losing more and more faith in the human race each day. And to make matters worse, now their killing endangered turtles with no real reason, good job ASSHOLES.

  • G-Money

    So to see how an endangered species got endangered, you are going to kill more of them and make them more endangered? YOU SIR, ARE AN IDIOT.

  • G-Money

    So to see how an endangered species got endangered, you are going to kill more of them and make them more endangered? YOU SIR, ARE AN IDIOT.

  • McDooky

    Nothing should ever be about Brenden Frasier since he hasn’t ever really made a good movie.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=580380351 Potter Dee

    Terrible article written by an idiot with no understanding of scientific reality.

    These are not animals that can be released into the wild. They were raised in tight captivity, conditions as far from the ocean as possible. If released they would quickly be eaten by predators they have no defense against, starve to death having never hunted before, or become infected with a myrid of diseases and parasites they have no immunity to, possibly triggering a turtle plague.

    These are lab rats. they are farm cows. They are as far from wild turtles as you get. They are filled with weird diseases from their captive upbringing and have no instincts.

    Trial experiment, take your house cat and leave it in the savanna of Africa and see how long it lives for. Get the picture yet?

    The end of a LOT of animal experiments is invasive surgery to examine tissue growth, you need to examine an animal thoroughly to really understand what occurred over a decade of growth. It isn’t exactly something you can put back together afterward.

    I’ve talked to biologists that have had to kill a lot of animals over their life of studies, it is not something they take joy in, for a lot of them, it is the worst part of their job, something they take no joy in. It is not something they do lightly, after a decade of working with animals you always become attached to them, I doubt anyone who took part in this experiment will have a dry eye at the end of this study, I doubt any of them smiled when the they realized how it would conclude.

    The article actually explains this decision in complete detail, it is still poorly framed by an idiot.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=580380351 Potter Dee

    Terrible article written by an idiot with no understanding of scientific reality.

    These are not animals that can be released into the wild. They were raised in tight captivity, conditions as far from the ocean as possible. If released they would quickly be eaten by predators they have no defense against, starve to death having never hunted before, or become infected with a myrid of diseases and parasites they have no immunity to, possibly triggering a turtle plague.

    These are lab rats. they are farm cows. They are as far from wild turtles as you get. They are filled with weird diseases from their captive upbringing and have no instincts.

    Trial experiment, take your house cat and leave it in the savanna of Africa and see how long it lives for. Get the picture yet?

    The end of a LOT of animal experiments is invasive surgery to examine tissue growth, you need to examine an animal thoroughly to really understand what occurred over a decade of growth. It isn’t exactly something you can put back together afterward.

    I’ve talked to biologists that have had to kill a lot of animals over their life of studies, it is not something they take joy in, for a lot of them, it is the worst part of their job, something they take no joy in. It is not something they do lightly, after a decade of working with animals you always become attached to them, I doubt anyone who took part in this experiment will have a dry eye at the end of this study, I doubt any of them smiled when the they realized how it would conclude.

    The article actually explains this decision in complete detail, it is still poorly framed by an idiot.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4K3KM67XITZTXUE45K42KS4OEE brian

    Grey area…..Its not so clear cut. If the experimental death of 10 turtles (which would likely perish in the wild anyway due to being raised by humans,) would let us gain knowledge that would eventually lead to us saving thousands upon thousands….then wouldn’t it be worth it? Then again IS there such a potential of information to be gained….or will it be just a tiny footnote to the already decade of research they’ve done on these 10 turtles. I wouldn’t be opposed to an inquirery to find out…yet I imagine that the this last stage is very important, and that they would find them justified in doing so. Still if there is any other option I’d rally for them to take it….for instance even though these turtles likely would not make it in the wild, I’m sure any Zoo set up for such a thing would gladly take them in….even if they are a bit on the mutilated side from the experiments. Of course if the turtles would live a life of pain due to the experiments…well that might be a factor to consider in putting them down too.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4K3KM67XITZTXUE45K42KS4OEE brian

    Grey area…..Its not so clear cut. If the experimental death of 10 turtles (which would likely perish in the wild anyway due to being raised by humans,) would let us gain knowledge that would eventually lead to us saving thousands upon thousands….then wouldn’t it be worth it? Then again IS there such a potential of information to be gained….or will it be just a tiny footnote to the already decade of research they’ve done on these 10 turtles. I wouldn’t be opposed to an inquirery to find out…yet I imagine that the this last stage is very important, and that they would find them justified in doing so. Still if there is any other option I’d rally for them to take it….for instance even though these turtles likely would not make it in the wild, I’m sure any Zoo set up for such a thing would gladly take them in….even if they are a bit on the mutilated side from the experiments. Of course if the turtles would live a life of pain due to the experiments…well that might be a factor to consider in putting them down too.

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