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MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, April 16 (PIA) -- A local fisherman in barangay Combado here got the surprise of his life when what he thought was a big catch for the day turned out be a turtle, a Green Sea Turtle, according to personnel of the Office of the City Agricultural Services (OCAS) who examined it.

The fisherman, whose name was not immediately known, was quoted as saying the hook in his fishing line found its mark on the left side of the turtle's shell just below the head, so the animal was not at all harmed or injured when it was hauled to the shore early morning Tuesday.

Crowd of curious onlookers easily gathered and watched the "catch" brought ashore, tended by OCAS personnel who contacted the DENR-CENRO for tagging and subsequent release.

The shell's length measured 30 inches from the base of the head to the base of the tail, the width 22 inches, circumference, 90 inches, and its weight was approximately 70 kilos.

Comments of facebook users from Ormoc, Luzon, and Australia mostly inquired about its condition when pictures of the turtle was posted on PIA-Southern Leyte's facebook account.

A very brief video also got likes and a share.

In less than two hours since the turtle was brought to shore, DENR personnel released it back to the sea after proper tagging procedures, according to those who saw the "send-off" ceremony.

Turtles are known eaters of the deadly crown of thorns, a kind of sea urchin whose massive number can destroy coral reefs, it was learned.