By: Angely L. Mercado/Charlotte Collado | PIA.GOV.PH

STA. ANA, Cagayan, June 22 (PIA) — A green sea turtle, classified as endangered, was recently rescued by officials of the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) from the hands of Chinese guests in one of the resorts here.

The turtle, locally known as pawikan, was seen by CEZA authorities carried in a sack which according to the Chinese guests were sold to them by a fisherman in Barangay San Vicente, this town.

The pawikan (Chelona mydas) measured 58 centimeters long and 55 cm wide.

After conducting a physical examination, CEZA Chief Safety Officer Avelino T. Natividad and Environmental Chief Ernesto Ablao assured that the pawikan is in good condition and showed no signs of stress and injury .

The endangered specie was turned over to the sanctuary area of the Philippine Coast Guard and was released immediately the following morning by the officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), PCG and CEZA.

DENR officials warned the public that Republic Act 9147 or the Wildlife Conservation Act prohibits the killing, destroying, inflicting injury, trading, collecting, gathering, and maltreating of critically endangered species.

Meanwhile, CEZA officials vowed to conduct extensive information and dissemination campaign for the protection of endangered species and wildlife in the freeport zone. (ALM/PIA-2/with reports from Charlotte Collado, CEZA)