COSTA RICA (WSAV/WISH) – Recently a mob of irresponsible tourists and locals in Costa Rica prevented sea turtles from laying their eggs along the coast and authorities have now launched an investigation.
Crowds swarmed the Ostional Wildlife Refuge, and officials said the eco-tourists disrupted the nesting ritual.
The visitors stood in the turtles’ way as they swam ashore and even placed children on top of them to snap photos. This caused many of the turtles to return to the sea without laying their eggs.
Other tourists touched the turtles, stood on top of their nests and snapped photos with flash camera. Officials have blasted the tourists, and they want to know why the crowd wasn’t held back.
They are also looking into way to prevent this from happening again in the future.
Refuge administrator Carlos Hernandez said he’s never seen a crowd quite like this. He claims that some visitors got on the beach by going through unauthorized access points and that park rangers were unable to control the large crowd.
There’s also a catch, since the area in Costa Rica is the only place in the world where it’s legal to harvest and sell sea turtle eggs.
Authorities monitor this practice and only a small percentage is allowed to be collected.
Officials say this law was developed back in the 1980’s, and it has helped to increase the sea turtle population.
Income from the sale of eggs has been used to pay for the guards at the beach.