Golfer who bludgeoned turtle evades justice6th August, 2013 by Alistair Dunsmuir
The search for the golfer or golfers who savagely beat to death a turtle in a bunker on an American golf course has come to an end with no arrests made.
On June 10, a greenkeeper at Delbrook Golf Club in Wisconsin saw a female snapping turtle looking for a safe place to lay eggs – which she appeared to find in the sand at the 4th hole.
However, at least one golfer also saw the turtle – and responded by repeatedly beating her with a golf club.
The turtle was next spotted in the bunker – still alive – about two hours after the attack, with holes in her shell and blood on her face. Vets were due to operate on her, but she died shortly afterwards due to liver failure caused by the beating.
The story became big news in the USA – the New York Daily News described the killers as ‘psycho golfers’ and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources even released a statement asking followers on Facebook who were expressing their disgust at the attack to tone down their language.
Various environmental and animals groups offered rewards totaling about £7,000 for the capture of the culprit, with about half coming from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
However, Minnesota’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has now said it has ”exhausted all resources” in the case.
DNR made house visits to, and phone calls with, a number of golfers who played on the course on the day in question, but nobody gave any useful evidence regarding what happened to the turtle.
“Our Cruelty Investigation Department looked into the case to determine its difficulty and they concluded that this case will be difficult to solve because the members on the golf course could, and did, bring anybody they wanted to golf with them – and those non-members were not recorded in any records,” said Patrick Shultz, a cruelty investigator with DNR.
“The only hope now is that someone with a guilty conscience will come forward.”
“Animal abusers are cowards,” said PETA director Martin Mersereau. “They take their issues out on the most defenseless beings available to them. Area residents have good reason to be concerned. According to law-enforcement agencies and leading mental health professionals, perpetrators of violent acts against animals are often repeat offenders who pose a serious threat to all animals — including humans.”