Gold Coaster Ricky Rogers saw instant fame via social media when a photo of him and a friend 'surfing' a turtle went viral for all the wrong reasons.
Gold Coaster Ricky Rogers saw instant fame via social media when a photo of him and a friend 'surfing' a turtle went viral for all the wrong reasons.

‘I'm an animal lover – I don’t even let people kill spiders’

GOLD Coast man Ricky Rogers, who became a viral sensation overnight for all the wrong reasons, has spoken of his love for animals after a photo of him and a friend 'surfing' on a dead turtle caused a social media storm.

The 26-year-old and a group of friends were visiting Fraser Island at the weekend when they came across the washed up turtle.

"We pulled over to help it because we thought it was stuck and as we got closer realised it was dead," Mr Rogers told ARM.

"Not thinking we hopped on it for five seconds and got a quick photo and left."

EARLIER: 'Turtle surfers' could face $20k fines each

He said he was disappointed the situation went so viral on social media, when it was just "one silly little mistake".

"Of course I regret it. I never thought it would end up being so big," he said.

"Everyone makes mistakes, just unfortunately mine went viral due to people thinking it was alive.

"I am an animal lover - I don't even let people kill spiders.

"Everyone that knows me knows how much I love animals and know I wouldn't do anything to hurt (one).

"This is what social media does to people - ruins names over false and misleading information."

Mr Rogers' mum expressed her concerns on social media alongside many of his friends who chimed a similar chorus.

"We all know Ricky would be the first to help an injured animal. It was a dead turtle - we all know that," she said.

Initial rumours spread on Facebook that he and his friend would be fined almost $20,000; however, Mr Rogers confirmed he had not been fined and was told that was only the penalty if the turtle was alive and it were an animal cruelty case. 

The photo of the two men 'surfing' on the back of the turtle, which was posted to social media.
The photo of the two men 'surfing' on the back of the turtle, which was posted to social media.

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