Two men could face fines of over $15,000 each for a photo they posted of themselves on social media standing on a turtle in Queensland, Australia.
The image shows two men standing atop a turtle on a beach, with the caption “Surfed a tortoise on zee weekend.. gnarly duddddeeeee”. Since being shared by another Facebook user on Wednesday, it has garnered over 10,000 shares and 1,500 comments, mainly from outraged members of the public.
RSPCA Queensland spokesperson Michael Beatty called the men in the image “complete idiots“, and said that their actions may have seriously harmed the animal.
As reported by the Fraser Coast Chronicle, the original post and the account that published it were reported by other Facebook users to the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, who have confirmed that they are investigating the complaint.
Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service have also said that they are investigating the event, and that the fines could be issued if the men are found to be interfering with a natural resource. A spokesperson for the QPWS said to the Chronicle “There is some evidence to suggest that this turtle was deceased at the time of the photo.”