Every year, a flood of the sea turtles make their way to the Ostional Wildlife Refugee in Guanacaste, Costa Rica to nest because the Pacific coastline usually provides enough privacy to make the process easier. Unfortunately, that wasn’t possible this year.
According to the New York Times, the tourists physically blocked the turtles’ path to the beach and basically did everything they could to scare the turtles away from their nesting ground. Not only did some tourists touch the turtles, they put their children on the turtles’ backs.
The Tico Times reports that the reason a horde of tourists were present at the beach was due in part by drought plaguing the northern region.
In response to this travesty, the Environment Ministry’s Workers Union (SITRAMINAE) posted to its Facebook page that the Secretary of Environment is investigating the incident. Authorities are being questioned on why they were unable to “control the tourism that hampered and limited the natural process of spawning of turtles.”
In October, another group of turtles is expected to lay their eggs on the beach, and authorities say they will enhance security and restrict access to the nesting beaches.
Let’s hope in the future, military personnel will not have to patrol beaches to protect the eggs laid by the turtles, as is happening in Mexico.
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