What may come across as good intentions can sometimes cause more harm than benefit.
Last week, a Thai netizen took to Facebook to warn the public against releasing tortoises into open water as it actually puts their livelihood at risk! In the Facebook post, a series of horrifying photos showing rows of dead tortoises lined up on the ground were shared.
Many of these sea creatures have died from drowning because their shells are too heavy and weigh them down in the water.
“To help many more lives, I want to say that there are many types of turtles. Tortoises are a species that can’t swim but ignorant people who think that they are helping take the tortoises from the land and put them into the water,” wrote the netizen.
“It only takes a few minutes for them to die from drowning. So I want to spread this information before more lives are lost.”
This sad occurrence is, unfortunately, a common mistake as many do confuse tortoises with turtles, who can swim.
According to Wildlife Land Trust, “Tortoises and turtles are both reptiles. The defining difference is that tortoises live on land. They cannot swim in water while turtles can swim and even float in water.”
So the next time you think you’re saving a turtle by releasing them into the open water, make sure to it’s not a tortoise. We don’t need any more unnecessary wildlife deaths!
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