In his words, because: “The turtle is my friend!”
It’s been around two years since Muakula last ate turtle meat—a tradition in his culture. He came to the decision during a WWF turtle monitor training in a nearby village. Muakula realized how defenseless the marine turtles were and it stirred deep regret in him. After growing up hunting turtles, he was now determined to help save them.
“I wanted to stand up for them because I found out how their numbers kept on going down,” he said. “I know that if we don’t do something about it, future generations will never get to see a turtle and knowing the important role the turtle plays in our marine environment helped cement my decision.”
This choice to stop consuming turtles was not an easy transition for Muakula. His entire life has been closely intertwined with the sea, and that included harvesting turtles.