Video shows cruel locals sitting on endangered turtle, standing on its flippers as it desperately tries to crawl back into sea
Warning: Distressing content
A recently surfaced video shows locals on an Indonesian beach cruelly riding on the back of an endangered giant sea turtle.
The turtle was reportedly laying its egg on the beach when it was captured by residents on Friday.
Law enforcement in the area is yet to make a statement on the incident, Daily Mail reports.
An older man is seen in the clip sitting on the back of the leatherback sea turtle while another eggs him on. A third man brandishes a tree branch to use as a club from behind.
Subsequently, a younger man takes his turn. He is seen nonchalantly munching on a snack while riding the distressed being.
As the poor animal tries to crawl back into the sea, another man carrying a toddler is seen getting on its back.
Then, another man perches himself on the animal's back and puts his feet on its head.
The footage later cuts to another elderly man riding the same turtle.
In an apparent bid to goad it on, a man wearing yellow shorts throws handfuls of sand at its tail, before giving it a shove and grabbing one of its hind flippers to be pulled along as it inches forward.
As the giant turtle lurches the last few yards to the water's edge, the man is seen standing on both the reptile's hind flippers.
Even as it crawls into the waves, the men refuse to get off the turtle's back as their companions encourage the brutal act.
According to experts, the leatherback sea turtle is the largest of all turtles and the fourth-biggest reptile on the planet, reportedly weighing more than half a ton.
The term leatherback stems from its lack of a bony shell—which is unique among sea turtles. Instead of the hard shell, the turtle's carapace is covered by skin and oily flesh.
These turtles are mostly found in the Pacific, Indian, and Atlantic oceans, and are listed as endangered in all but the northwest Atlantic.
Furthermore, adult leatherbacks are not fished for their meat and have few natural predators.
However, the species faces a damning threat from man-made activities. They are often caught in fishing nets and lobster pots. The turtles sometimes mistake balloons and plastic bags for jellyfish, which they normally eat.