Li Awei and his friends went fishing in the South China Sea, near their village in the Fujian region of China on Monday. As Li was pulling up his net, he found it was too heavy, so he asked his friends to come over and help. It turned out that a huge sea turtle had accidentally got caught in his net.
Li told reporters that the beautiful sea turtle, which was 107 cm long, 73 cm wide and 67.5kg in weight, quickly made him the most sought after man in town. The local Bureau of Ocean and Fisheries identified the turtle as a Olive Ridley sea turtle, which is listed as a second-class nationally-protected marine animal.
Some of the villagers offered him as much as 10,000 yuan (about $2500) for the turtle. Heroically, Li rejected all offers. Locals believe that seeing such a big sea turtle is auspicious, so rather than risk misfortune to turn a quick profit, Li and his friends agreed to return the creature back to the sea.
According to the Chinese intellectual Lin Yutang, releasing animals to the wild earns moral credit and is a form of prayer. Releasing turtles is said to aid longevity, so perhaps Li will live to an old age, much like the creature he released.
Happy Humpday (^_^)