If some kid(s) made this turtle take flight, well, that's clearly cruel. (It did land safely, thankfully.)
But the authors of the article are overlooking another possibility: reptilian ambition. What if this turtle in fact had some friends attach all those balloons in a pretty effective attempt to emulate the world's coolest turtle? That would be, of course, Gamera, who winged over Japan with his all-natural jet propulsion.
Yes, yes, I know. Probably not. But don't discount it too quickly: thousands of miles away in Scotland, another turtle has proved equally ambitious, at least in the distance athlete department. Suspicious timing, at the very least.
Something is going on.
And, for the turtles' sake, I hope it's not just kids being jerks.