An image of a child riding on a critically endangered sea turtle while a boatload of tourists watch has sparked outrage online and prompted an investigation by the Malaysian government.

The picture shows the child sitting on the hawksbill turtle’s back while an adult pins the creature in place with a foot.

It’s believed the photo was taken in Tun Sakaran Marine Park in the Malaysian state of Sabah.

It quickly went viral after being uploaded onto social media, reportedly with the caption: “to appeal to tourists, the tour and boat operator caught the turtle and put it on the boat for tourists to take pictures with”.