The Department of Environment issued a warning to pet owners Friday after roaming dogs were caught on camera attacking a nesting turtle along a West Bay beach.
The incident happened this month and was caught on a turtle monitoring CCTV camera that was installed on Sand Hole Road Beach in July.
Two dogs were seen “setting upon a nesting turtle” on the beach, according to a post on the DoE’s Facebook page.The animal failed to lay any eggs at that time and made it back into the sea with minor injuries.
DoE conservation officers, the post said, were able to respond immediately to the scene.
They said they identified the dogs and tracked down their owner to make sure the animals were secured.
“Our conservation officers will always attempt to educate the public first, prior to taking enforcement action, but pet owners should be aware that they are responsible if their pet harms a protected species (defined under the National Conservation Law),” the DoE warned.
The department stressed the importance of having the camera on the beach.
“We wouldn’t have known this was happening without the beach cam,” the DoE said.
It allows DoE officers to be dispatched when a nesting turtle arrives at the beach.
The camera was part of the Project Turtle initiative led by Caymanian Michael Ridley who raised $15,500 to lease a high-tech camera to be used at a key nesting beach.