The carcass of a green turtle that was brutally killed was found floating in the waters off Pulau Kapas, Terengganu earlier this week
Kapas Conservation Society secretary Mohd Farith Rezza Isa said the carcass was found by a resort operator on the island at 2.50pm on Wednesday, 26 May.
The female turtle was found with the bottom of its shell split open, and with slash marks on its neck and back flipper.
Its body was measured 73cm in length and 67cm in width.
The association believes that the turtle's cause of death was due to the splitting of its underside by an irresonsponsible party who stole its eggs
"[We] discovered that the plastron (the bottom of the shell) was cut open and the organs are still intact in the coelomic cavity," said Rezza Isa in a statement today, 28 May.
"There were also cuts at the throat and at the back left flipper."
The secretary also believes that the turtle's death was recent as there were no signs of swelling of its internal organs.
However, thus far, it is unknown whether the perpetrators are local or foreign fishermen.
"We do not dismiss the possibility that this cruel act was committed by foreign fishermen," he was quoted as saying by Bernama, adding that they were curious as to why the turtle's carcass was discarded as its other parts have commercial value too.
The association said the incident was alarming as the perpetrators were daring enough to kill a mother turtle
"Sea turtles are endangered and protected under Malaysia's Wildlife Conservation Act and the Terengganu Turtle Enactment," reminded Rezza Isa.
"They are our natural heritage, but are facing serious threats from illegal poaching and trading of their eggs."
Calling themselves the caretakers of Pulau Kapas, the Kapas Conservation Society urged the Department of Fisheries to conduct a thorough investigation so that serious action can be taken against the towards the culprits.
They also called on the public to report any suspicious activity they see on the beach.
Consuming turtle eggs should be stopped as it can result in severe, even fatal, poisoning to humans, warns a local expert: