This is the moment Spanish cops free a huge sea turtle from the rope wrapped around its neck that is attached to a mesh cage for trapping octopuses.
The incident was filmed off the coast of Punta Umbria in the province of Huelva in the southern Spanish region of Andalusia, and the footage was shared on Twitter by the Civil Guard where it has been viewed 70,000 times.
In the clip, two burly Spanish cops are seen helping the huge marine reptile while in a dinghy alongside it.
One Civil Guard officer manages to cut the rope from around the turtle’s neck and it swims away once freed.
The cops then appear to pull up a mesh cage used to trap octopuses.
According to the Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia, the Civil Guard were called to the scene after the turtle was spotted struggling in the water with the rope tied around its neck.
In a police statement obtained by Newsflash, the officers said they found the turtle and realised it was caught up in rope tied to a mesh cage used to trap octopuses.
The leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) was said to be suffering from exhaustion after struggling to free itself from the rope.
The officers said the turtle was anxious and moved erratically before they were able to cut the rope from its neck.
The video footage shows the moment two cops eventually cut the rope with a knife before the freed animal swims away.
The Spanish Civil Guard also said that it is unusual to see this species of turtle near the coast as they are normally found in tropical regions.
The Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) categorises leatherback sea turtles, the largest of all turtles, as ‘vulnerable’.
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