CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) -- A reward is being offered after an endangered sea turtle was found dead at Carolina Beach. What has some people up in arms, is what may have happened to creature.
Someone found the young Kemp's Ridley sea turtle Tuesday along the sand underneath Snow's Cut Bridge. Its head was missing.
"It was a malicious act done by somebody without a heart," Danny Rose.
Volunteers with the Pleasure Island Sea Turtle Project say it was a clean cut, which meaning someone could have decapitated the animal. The group posted news of the turtle on its Facebook page to try and raise awareness if this was done maliciously. It disgusted Rose. He's the first person to offer a $100 reward.
"I like to fish. I've killed animals to eat and fish to eat. That's not an issue to me, but for somebody to do something like that, kill an innocent creature, no threat to them whatsoever, makes no sense," Rose said.
But sea turtle biologists say it's hard to tell exactly what happened, because the turtle had been dead three or four days.
"It was starting to decompose," Matthew Godfrey with the NC Wildlife Resources Commission. "It wasn't clear when the head had been cut off. It could be the case someone saw a dead turtle on the side of the channel and thought, 'Hmm... I wonder if I can take the skull home.' Maybe they cut off the head to take the skull home."
Kemp's Ridleys are the rarest and most endangered of all sea turtles. If someone did this, they could face huge fines and a prison sentence.
Many hope the reward, which continues to grow, will lead to some answers. So far, a little more than $500 has been raised.