Long before the days of 24-hour convenience stores and instant communication, human beings lived in some semblance of harmony with nature. People used to know that we too are also a part of the circle of life, and that respect is what holds it all together. Sadly, so many have totally lost this connection now and even the most basic understanding and appreciation of other forms of life can be hard to find.
Here are pictures to prove it.
At Ostenial beach in beautiful Costa Rica, hundreds of tourists and tour guides swarmed a protected sea turtle habitat like gangbusters, creating a shocking scene where a mob of excited idiots completely disrupted dozens of delicate turtles, preventing them from laying eggs, and then trampling many of their nests.
The authorities were called in, but were ineffective at stopping the mob scene as jubilant travelers posed for selfies with turtles, splashed in the waves with them, and let their children ride on the backs of these pregnant and confused mothers-to-be.
“Refuge administrator Carlos Hernández, told the daily La Nación he had never seen that many people at the beach, located in the canton of Santa Cruz. Some tourists touched the turtles, others stood on top of the nests, and parents placed their children on top of the turtles to take photographs, the group reported.” [Tico Times]
Take a look at some of the photos posted on Facebook:
“Ostional receives massive turtle arrivals, known as arribadas, almost every month. But September and October are the peak months of the season, and tourism companies increase tours to watch the turtles’ arrival and nesting.” [Tico Times]
“This particular arribada occurred during a weekend, increasing the number of visitors, SITRAMINAE members said.
The lack of rainfall affecting the northern region also helped attract more visitors. September and October usually register the most rainfall of the year, and rains at Ostional can cause large river swells that prevent visitors from reaching the beach.
The refuge is guarded by only two park rangers, and last weekend they received help from only three National Police officers, who were unable to control the situation.” [Tico Times]
For people who work with sea turtles, such as marine conservationist Jonathon Miller-Weisberger of Guaria de Osa eco-lodge in Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula, this case is an extreme example of a very common problem in Costa Rica and around the world. He says that turtles are very sensitive, and that 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. His organization, 4Biodiversity.org actively educates local youths about how to preserve and protect these noble creatures, in addition to preserving active nests.
Conserving turtles can be a dangerous business, and the government is looking into how it can best address this recent incident. A couple of years ago, turtle rescue volunteer Jairo Mora was murdered on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica while protecting nests from poachers who hunt turtle eggs at night to sell. Locals buy the eggs to eat and to consume as a delicacy in local drinking pubs. The case was thrown out of court on a technicality later on, and the murderers were set free, proving that it is not easy to protect marine life, or those who sacrifice themselves for it.
Just a couple of generations ago, people better understood nature and had more of an inherent concern for it. With that now apparently gone, how much longer will humans and the animal kingdom be able to co-exist?
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