Hundreds of dead turtles found along a lake in Ezhou, China

Hundreds of turtles found dead along the shore of an E’zhou, Hubei Province lake may be the result of mercy releases, local authorities said. 
 
The news follows a local folk holiday on May 26, fangshengjie, during which locals release turtles and other captive animals into Liangzi Lake in the belief that it creates good karma. The practice has roots in Buddhism and Taoism. 
 
Local wildlife authorities speculated that the released turtles, which varied in species, may have not been compatible and killed each other. 
 
Local media reported a local man surnamed Lu first discovered dozens of turtles, which he described as a rare sight on Liangzi Lake, in the rocks and weeds on Monday. 
 
“Most of them were already dead, while those that alive were injured,” Lu said. 
 
Within an hour Lu found 27 turtles still alive and brought them home. He said three died overnight. 
 
According to Lu’s father, sightings of dead turtles at the lake began 10 days earlier. 
 
Villagers first suspected disease or water pollution as the cause of death, but an investigation launched by relevant authorities Monday claimed the lake was not polluted. 
 
Authorities warned the public that the release of non-native species into the lake can threaten its ecosystem.
Courtesy of globaltimes.cn

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