Turtle fighting for life after being dragged from sea for selfies

Endangered animal 'jumped on' by tourists looking for photos

Turtle Stood On For Selfies and Beaten On Beach Gets Rescued

A sea turtle is recovering after being dragged from the sea and abused by tourists who took selfies with it.

The loggerhead turtle reportedly suffered a painful ordeal at Havana Beach in Beirut when it was jumped on and beaten with sticks.

See also: Off-duty police officers rescue tangled turtle

See also: Plastic fork removed from turtle's nose

It was rescued by the charity group Animals Lebanon and is currently recovering from its ordeal.

The charity wrote about the incident on its website, saying: "Animals Lebanon is assisting the Ministry of Agriculture and Civil Defense to make sure this sea turtle does not die from this unnecessary, avoidable, and illegal cruelty.

"The turtle has been given antibiotics and she is being taken for x-ray of her head. The damage is visible and evident - the blows and trauma she suffered have broken through the top of her head, and water from the sea has reached her sinus cavities.

"Hopefully the x-rays can rule out further damage and that the blows did not affected deeper into the skull."

According to Wikipedia, the loggerhead sea turtle is found in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans, as well as the Mediterranean Sea. It spends most of its life in saltwater and estuarine habitats, with females briefly coming ashore to lay eggs. The loggerhead sea turtle has a low reproductive rate; females lay an average of four egg clutches and then produce no eggs for two to three years.

The loggerhead sea turtle is omnivorous, feeding mainly on bottom-dwelling invertebrates. Young loggerheads are exploited by numerous predators; the eggs are especially vulnerable to terrestrial organisms. Once the turtles reach adulthood, their formidable size limits predation to large marine animals, such as sharks.

Loggerheads are considered an endangered species and are protected by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Untended fishing gear is responsible for many loggerhead deaths. Turtles may also suffocate if they are trapped in fishing trawls.

Loss of suitable nesting beaches and the introduction of exotic predators have also taken a toll on loggerhead populations.

Efforts to restore their numbers will require international cooperation, since the turtles roam vast areas of ocean and critical nesting beaches are scattered across several countries.

According to the National Geographic, activists have worked to protect nesting sites on southern Lebanon beaches from development over the past few years.

Sharks and more: Amazing pics of ocean life

Sharks and more: Amazing pics of ocean life