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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.

Comment on this Story

  • usa

    Dear Circle of , i dont know what am talking about ,
    it was no boat it was ,the same low lifes that fish there all most everyday , can you say oh lo sir res … they dont care about saving the seas or the life that lives there.

  • kbpirate

    The Kemp Riddleys have been nesting in the river in the same spot for the last three years. I reported their nesting area three years ago to Morehead and with the high boat traffic and speed of the the boats large and small it is inevitable that a turtle is going to lose its head or more. No reward needed, its the circle of life.

  • Guestfellini

    Every time a drunk driver kills an innocent person, let’s not charge them with a DUI. It’s just the “circle of life”! What nonsense! Speeding motorboats are part of the circle of DEATH. Some humans just have no regard for any life at all.

  • Guest7969

    There is no evidence this was malicious. If you DID cut the head off as a souvenir from a dead turtle…KEEP your mouth shut…the knee jerk response will be to crucify you. In other news…we arw finding that sea turtles in general aren’t as endangered as we once thought…

  • Don’t Eat Shrimp

    Unless what you “once thought” was that they were extinct, they are every bit as endangered as advertised, with species such as the Leatherback down by 95% from historic levels, and both Kemp’s and loggerheads suffering local extirpation.

    Review the science and learn the facts.

  • Guest7969

    Typical liberal knee jerk…reducing human life down to that if a turtle…

  • Guest7969

    Typical liberal knee jerk…reducing human life down to that of a turtle…

  • Guesttenheimer

    Whatever a DUI has to do with a dead turtle? I have no idea. “Speeding motorboats are a part of ths circle of DEATH”? Lookie here Einstein, there are 100 ft yachts and barge tugs that idle thru Snow’s Cut with 36″ wheels and larger. If a turtle is in that path, it cannot be seen or avoided and will experience an inadvertant prop-wash, likely lethal. It’s not about “speeding motorboats” and it’s not about DUI’s, it isn’t about any intention at all…it’s about being in the wrong spot at the wrong time.

    Is your little light bulb beginning to glow yet?

  • Guest51

    To answer your last question
    Most humans are not deserving. Also there exists many places for humans to receive help if they choose to ask; animals have little. I agree comparing to a DUI is a huge stretch; and being at the helm of evolution we have choices an animal should only be killed for meat and protection, anything else is poaching. We have no idea what happen to this turtle, and will never know unless someone is dumb enough to confess. I hope that someone did not kill this animal just for the head, it makes me sick to think that humans can be so cruel. So I am going to think the best and assume he died naturally and some idiot stumbled upon him.

  • I agree. As Bugs would say “what a maroon!” Humans are first in the pecking order and sea turtles very far off. Isn’t there more important news to be reporting on anyway? How does this story matter in the grand scheme of things? Bunch of tree huggers that don’t have to work with too much time on their hands. Why not help a “human” in need in your community?

  • Office Fan

    Your comments exemplify the underlying reason why these animals need to be protected. People like you who view it as their right to do anything they choose to an animal simply because we are human and view ourselves as superior to all other life on earth. We do NOT have the right to treat animals with cruelty by torturing and killing them regardless of how intelligent we are! You asked how this matters in the grand scheme of things…it matters because this was an innocent animal that had to endure a tortuous death at the hands of a sick twisted person.

    It is sad how everytime there is a story like this, anywhere, a troll like you pops out of the woodwork spouting “Why not help a human instead”. If you feel so strongly about helping humans, good for you…go make a difference. More than likely, though, you never lift a finger to help others and just use that as a veiled attack on animal lovers. Tree-Hugger? Darn right I am, and I work 50 hours a week in a professional job.

  • Wow, aren’t you happy with yourself. Get over yourself. You’re having the knee jerk reaction that other individual was talking about. What you don’t realize is that I am immersed in the human condition everyday and when I hear people like you puffing themselves up and telling the world how great they are, I wonder if maybe your “environmental conscience” is an excuse to not help those who you feel are beneath you. There are many out there. So, before you judge me, open your eyes to your fellow man.

  • Office Fan

    Sorry, friend, but a “knee jerk reaction” is far better than your apathetic attitude towards the welfare of animals that you so clearly exhibit. Further, there is nothing for me “Get Over” about myself. You made a ignorant and unsubstantiated blanket statement about Tree Huggers and I refuted your comment, so I wouldn’t be one to talk about judging others.

    By the way, I wouldn’t be so quick to make statements about people being below you when you so clearly view yourself as superior to me and others who are deeply concerned about this issue.

    Finally, you said “I wonder if maybe your “environmental conscience” is an excuse to not help those who you feel are beneath you”. Last time I checked, we lived in the United States. I was not aware I was obligated to help anyone, much less need an excuse not to do so. My love of animals and environmental conscience is something I truly believe in, not some false facade to divert me from human-related suffering.

  • Guest7969

    would KILL 8000 sea turtles to save ONE human life…You guys have your mess all in a bunch and you don’t even know if this was an INTENTIONAL sea turtle death or not…SHEESh…calm down!

  • voodoodancer

    I’ll up the reward to $550.

  • Vivian Beck

    I’ll add money in too.

  • A. Jackson

    It’s amazing how people who have no idea what they are talking about post such ridiculous comments. Kemp Ridley’s are endangered, as are all the sea turtles in this area, get your facts. First of all we have a very well executed and comprehensive turtle project on the island, if you know of any dangers to any sea turtle call them! They have an 800# just for this sort of incident. It is anonymous, no witch hunt involved. If it was a boat propeller as some suggest why were there no other marks just a nice clean cut?

    For all you out there that truly respect the real circle of life you can view and learn more about the turtles and the project by visiting Pleasure Island Sea Turtle Projects page.

  • OMG!!

    BAN ALL POWERBOATS!! (Just kidding.) I saw this a couple of times with the Coast Guard. In fact, I even retrieved one (sea turtle) in the same condition..recovered the fresh carcass…turned it in to NOAA for study.

    If this was the case…a random Kemps-Ridley surfacing…the boater did not see it, there wasn’t any state restrictions on speed (posted)or it wasn’t in a federal sanctuary, no laws were broken. I seriously doubt someone would capture that species of turtle and decapitate it.

    When I first moved here and was walking along the beach with my family, some turtles were hatching down at Carolina Beach. I thought I would show my daughters what was going on. The turtle nazis baby-sitting almost had a coronary – calling for backup and air support for crowd control. I violated the six-foot perimeter!! WHOOP-WHOOP!! There was me…and my two elementary-age daughters.

    I didn’t want to burst the old retired ladies (tough, I might add) bubble and tell them I had done more for species preservation in one four year tour than they six of them would do in a lifetime.

    Nothing to see here…move along.

  • Guesttenheimer

    …and that’s exactly what he is! “Turtle Bob” is his handle. He’s a 5 ft tall by 4 1/2 feet wide New Englander transplant with nothing better to do than make little kids cry. He’s a “volunteer fire something er anuther” too. Goes around yelling at tourists and making their little kids cry for lighting the benign “NC fireworks”.

    He’s a nice guy if you happen to like short, round, fat, big-mouthed buffoons that for some odd reason, happen to think they’re important.

  • CBToday

    In this case, the decapitation appeared to be intentional as there was blood found on a nearby rock which was most likely the location where the head was cutoff.

  • Guest111

    Dear God How can there be such sick and cruel people on this earth?

  • Guest111

    Dear God How can there be such sick and cruel people on this earth?

  • Beach Bum

    Everyone Stop! This will only take a minute! No body move or the turtles get it!

    No way they could commit turtlecide. that’s just not right. I know what I will do.

    I will start a save the plankton orgainization with big boats to go run into other boats and turtles and whales.


    The difference between humans and animals is our ability to compose a rational complex thought and knowing the difference between right and wrong. Free will is the worse thing God ever gave any of us. Freedom of choice is the best and worse freedom we have.

  • Guest28451

    Well no worries with your buddy Obama and his communisty cronies up there we wont have much free will or choice left if he is re-elected. If your dead serious please leave the country immediately because we dont need idiots like you voting in November to sign the death warrent of freedom in this country by re-electing the socio-communist who believes the government should do everything for you including telling you how to pack your kids lunch for school!!!

  • Guest461

    …you seriously need to check back in with your medication, quickly! I think the guy was using a tad of sarchasm. You’re gonna blow a gasket!

  • really ??

    People like this are the very reason a Republicans will never win, with folks like this in your camp the party is doomed and regulated to the lunitic fringe category…..What a lowbrow moron.

  • Guest7969
  • John

    I think most fishermen that would actually take the time to cut off the turtles head would actually want the whole turtle for dinner. People all over the world eat turtle soup.

    Some “pond” fishermen typically cut off turtles heads because they are seen as a nuisance. They kill all the small fish in ponds and destroy the ecosystems. I think there is a chance they didn’t know the turtle was endangered.

    As for taken just the skull; Wouldn’t they want the shell if they were into collecting parts of animals for display or to sell? I think turtle shells can be expensive.

    I don’t think this was a malicous act. I think it was probably something like this.

    60% Boat propeller
    25% Pond fishermen that didn’t know it was endagered
    13% Idiot with a treble hook and a fishing pole
    1% Obama
    1% Henry VIII descendent

  • Guest2020

    If they cannot prove malicious intent, then why bother? It seems a waste of time and resources if they cannot even prove that the cause of death is decapitation.

    If people put as much effort into preserving the sanctity of human life that they put into the sanctity of animal life, this world would be a much better place.


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