Selfie-crazed tourists disrupt turtle nesting in Costa Rica
Wednesday, September 16, 2015, 7:17 PM - Wildlife conservationists are outraged after a crowd of tourists congregated on the beach at the Ostional Wildlife Refuge in Costa Rica earlier this month to witness the nesting of olive ridley sea turtles. According to reports, many tourists touched the turtles and smashed their nests. Some even placed their children on top of the turtles to take photos -- forcing many to return back to sea without laying their eggs.
The site is one of the most important nesting sites for the turtles in the country.
The incident was first reported by the the Environment Ministry’s Workers Union (SITRAMINAE), and caused an uproar on social media.
Officials say measures are already being put in place to prevent further disruptions to the turtles, which visit the beach almost every month in the thousands.
Peak time is September and October, and the first weekend of September usually attracts an influx of tourists.
"Turtles are very sensitive,” marine conservationist Jonathon Miller-Weisberger of Guaria de Osa eco-lodge in Costa Rica told the Waking Times.
“As both tourists and the communities that live near nesting populations of marine turtles realize that these creatures are rapidly dwindling in numbers, they must learn to change their ways about how they interact with and care for them.”
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