A circulating photograph of a young President Barack Obama and his mother appears to feature a dead endangered species that Obama vowed to protect in a presidential proclamation less than two weeks ago.
After a historical photo aggregator recently tweeted a photo of Obama and mother Ann Dunham, believed to have been taken at their Hawaii home in 1975. The picture earned some sideways glances for the turtle hanging on the wall behind a bed in the room where the photo was taken.
Young Barack Obama with his mother pic.twitter.com/jftdjEMxVf
— Historical Pics (@HistoricalPics) October 3, 2014
Writer and former Gerald Ford speechwriter Rodger Morrow called up The Daily Caller to identify the turtle as a Hawksbill sea turtle. The Hawksbill sea turtle earned listing as an endangered species on the June 2, 1970 Federal Register, years before the Obama photo is believed to have been taken.
“Hawksbill sea turtles, recognized for their beautiful gold and brown shells, have been hunted for centuries to create jewelry and other luxury items. As a result, these turtles are now listed as critically endangered,” according to the Sea Turtle Conservancy.
Obama said that he cares about the Hawksbill sea turtle in a Sept. 25, 2014 presidential proclamation expanding the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument to protect coral reef species.
“The adjacent areas provide significant habitat and range for species identified in Proclamation 8336,” Obama said. “They include waters used by five species of protected turtles. In addition to the Green and Hawksbill turtles that use the near-shore waters of the Monument, the adjacent areas include waters used by the endangered leatherback, loggerhead, and Olive Ridley turtles. All five species use the adjacent areas for their migratory paths and feeding grounds.”
Obama also publicly pardoned four sea turtles in December 2011 in Hanauma Bay in Hawaii.
The World Wildlife Fund, presented with the photo and TheDC’s concerns, did not provide comment for this report.