Saturday, October 14, 2006

Green Turtle

In 1980, I was fortunate to be able to see 2 leatherbacks within a night at Rantau Abang, Trengganu. I remembered that among the exhibits at the interpretative centre were some of the things that can kill the turtles – plastic bags!

Plastic bags floating in the sea can be mistaken as jelly fish. Turtles can suffocate and will die when they mistakenly ate them.

On 18 Sept 2006, a green turtle was found stranded on the shores of Kampung Tepi Sungai in Kota Kuala Muda, Kedah. It appeared weak and had expelled two large plastic bags (The Star, 21 Sept, 2006).

Kuala Muda is actually not far south of Pulau Bunting (Pregnant Island – it looks like a pregnant maiden from afar) in the Yan district. The island is pristine and not many people will go there as it lacks amenities like road and fresh water. What is interesting about this island which is uninhabited has a 1.8 km long bridge connecting to the mainland.

The multi million bridge that serves no purpose is now a white elephant.

The scenic bridge built between 2002 and 2005 has created an alarming situation for the island and the strait. There were so many anglers along the stretch of 1.8km bridge. And anglers brought rubbish with them. During our last visit (Sept 2006), I saw rubbish being thrown along the bridge. I believe what I saw were only 1 % of the rubbish. The other 99% were already in the sea. Perhaps the two plastic bags that were thrown from the bridge had nearly drowned the green turtle…..if only the green turtle can talk.

Human : Hi green turtle what are you doing at this muddy beach (at Kuala Muda)?
Turtle : What? Do you think I like to come to muddy beach huh? I prefer sandy beach lah.
Human : So why are you here?
Turtle : I am sick and got blurry vision after eating two tasteless jelly fish.
Human : Padan muka (serve you right) why do you eat tasteless jelly fish?
Turtle : Common man, if I can think like you, I won’t be called an animal! I have been eating jelly fish for the last 50 years and food is now scared…. I ate whatever that look like jelly fish. There was pollution everywhere. Ten years ago I lost my brothers and sisters when a big tanker leaked black oil….
Human : BTW, where are you from?
Turtle : I stayed around Pulau Bunting, Pulau Songsong, Pulau Telur and Pulau Bidan. I am weak and have lost my orientation and being swept by the current. Where am I?
Human : Oh, you are 30km from Pulau Bunting.
Turtle : We used to have a lot of food around my home but since the beginning of 2002 when human started building the bridge, seaweed and jelly fish were getting lesser. You human have caused a lot of hardship to my marine friends. Who built this bridge?
Human : Oh, he was once our famous leader in Malaysia. Mmm….why do you want to know?
Turtle : Well, before I die, I wish one day he will reincarnate as a turtle living near Pulau Bunting. The bridge will be here for a long long time and I just want him to eat some of the plastic bags.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Meddling with Nature

I read with skepticism on the conditioning of tigers with lithium chloride added mutton (The Star, 5 Oct, 2006). Apparently the mutton injected with the salt caused irritant and the tigers threw up several hours later. The next day the tigers did not eat the fresh mutton although it wasn’t laced.
After that successful experiment, the professor in physics and philosophy from a University in Ohio will proceed to do the same with tigers in the wild in Malaysia. This time beef will be used. The story continues in a jungle somewhere in Malaysia….

Anak Tiger : Mama, mama why are you vomiting?
Mama Tiger : Don’t kacau kacau mama, I ate a piece of delicious and aromatic beef and I have been vomiting for the last hour.
Anak Tiger : Mama I am hungry. I want to eat.
Mama Tiger : No…food. Sorry baby, I couldn’t find any animal in the jungle. Our home had been logged and there were many “san tai wongs”(logging trucks) plying up and down the jungle. All our favorite food like wild boars, kancils and even monkeys were gone.
Anak Tiger : Where have they gone? Mama, ma…ma….(crying..)
Mama Tiger : Don’t cry baby, I have tried very hard to find food.... Many of the animals were hunted by poachers, logging workers and the illegal immigrant workers too.
Anak Tiger : Mama, I am hungry. Please go to the village and get the big buffalo for me!
Mama Tiger : What? You still want to eat the buffalo after I have vomited them. I am sick now baby.
Anak Tiger : What should I do mama? I am hungry.
Mama Tiger : Please don’t cry baby….. There are no more animal in the jungle, no more meat….. but only lousy tasting buffaloes and cattle in the village.
Anak Tiger : Mama I got an idea.
Mama Tiger : What is that?
Anak Tiger : The human take away our food source so I think it should be alright if we eat the human lor!!! Can ah?

And so the day will come when more tigers will be killing humans and more tigers will be killed. In the end, the tiger will pupus (extinct). And man shall live happily forever; your children and grand children will be free from man-eaters