Green Sea Turtle Photobombs Group Photo in the Philippines
April 23, 2015
Diovani De Jesus, a promoter of marine wildlife conservation, environmental protection and sustainable ecotourism was on Apo Island, Negros Oriental, Philippines for Earth Day 2015 with a group of friends when they decided to take a picture. As De Jesus shot the photo with his camera, a green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) popped up right in front of him, seemingly looking at him eye to eye. It is a classic photobomb shot that is making the rounds on Twitter and in the mainstream media.
Diovani De Jesus
This green sea turtle interrupts a group photo on Apo Island in the Philippines.
What better country for De Jesus to be in during Earth Day 2015 than the Philippines. The Philippines is a biodiversity hotspot both on land and in the ocean. It is rife full of reptiles and amphibians on land and in the sea, and is also part of the coral triangle, one of the most diverse regions of the ocean in the world and home to thousands of coral and fish species. Apo Island off Negros, in the Visayas is just one of the Philippines’ 7,107 islands and it is very small, just 12 hectares in land area. It is an established Marine Protected Area (MPA) and is a popular dive site. What is unique about Apo is the fact that the marine sanctuary is one of the best known community organized marine sanctuaries in the world. This single sanctuary, established in 1982 has led the country to establish hundreds of other MPAs, a rare feat given that many reef ecosystems in the Philippines have been damaged or even destroyed by dynamite fishing and cyanide fishing for the marine aquarium trade.
John B. Virata spent a year in the Philippines studying the media, the effects of dynamite fishing and other life changing endeavors. His first pet reptile was a green anole that arrived in a small box via mail order. Follow him on Twitter @johnvirata