Half-tonne endangered turtle is helped back into the sea after being freed from fishing net

This is the heartwarming moment a half-tonne endangered turtle was helped back into the sea after getting caught in a fishing net.

The enormous leatherback was seen struggling near the beach in Camarines Sur, Philippines, yesterday (November 22) when locals managed to help it ashore.

Several villagers carried the female creature to the sand and helped to unravel the net. Local vets then arrived to check on the turtle, which had suffered minor cuts and bruising after its ordeal.

After treating the sea creature, fishermen from the nearby fishing village of Duran hauled the leatherback into the ocean, where it glided away into the depths.

Nonie Enolva, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), said: ''The turtle became tangled in the net owned by a local fisherman at approximately 6:30am. It was brough ashore and treated before being released back into the ocean.''

Nonie said the coastal town of Balatan where the leatherback was found had become a ''hotspot'' because there is a large concentration of plankton for them to feed on.

The leatherback turtle is listed on the International Union for Conservation (IUCN) red list for endangered species which describes them as ''vulnerable'' with a ''high risk of extinction in the wild''.