Rare Sea Animals ‘Chained Inside Underwater Cages’ As Tourist Attraction. Divers OUTRAGED
On a dive just off of the island of Kokoya in Indonesia, Delon Lim and group of divers he was with, came across a horrible sight. Locked inside two big cages on the bottom of the ocean floor were two of the world’s most rare marine creatures–dugongs. These beautiful, and mostly timid, animals are closely related to manatees, and are mostly found in areas along the coast that support a large amount of sea-grass.
Taking photos of what appeared to be a mother and a calf, Lim’s group decided to post them online. They were extremely concerned with the conditions of the animals, as Lim explained later: “The ropes are worn and torn. The scars and the wound on (the mother’s) tail are so deep. It was very heartbreaking.”
Finding out from a local fisherman that the dugongs had been kept for tourists to visit, Lim immediately wanted to encourage that they be set free. “He asked for some money if we want to see the dugong or take a picture.”, Lim said. Being a protected species in Indonesia, it was clear that this wasn’t OK. Pushing the issue, Lim and the divers kept trying to convince the fisherman to set them free while taking a video of their condition.
“When we left the island, the fisherman agreed to release them,” Lim said. But he and the other divers still felt uneasy. “But since we were not so convinced he would, I posted the video to social media,” he added.
When the video posted, conservation officials caught wind, and leaped into action. Contacting Lim on the exact whereabouts of the animals, they arrived the following day and set them free. It’s unclear if the fisherman faced any sort of consequences, but it is a lucky thing for the dugongs to have come across Lim and his fellow divers. Without their concern, the marine creatures may have been facing some terrible distress. Goes to show that our best intentions well laid can lead to some beautiful moments!
This article was inspired by this one here.