Poachers Steal Helpless Sea Turtles From Protected Beach

You'll rarely despair of the human race as much as you will when watching some poachers capture a helpless sea turtle for its eggs. Seriously, we're warning you - if your faith in humanity isn't already at an all-time low, it will be after watching this:

The footage shows poachers wading into protected waters at La Flor Beach Natural Reserve in San Juan del Sur, a town on Nicaragua's southwest coast, to capture sea turtles for their eggs.

An estimated 150,000 olive ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea), are one of five species of turtle who arrive in the area every year to nest and spawn.

Credit: CEN
Credit: CEN

That should, of course, be a reason to celebrate nature, but there are always terrible people ruining things, and in this case - as you can see - its poachers. Usually, poachers will wait for the turtles to lay their eggs and then destroy their nests, but this time some just waded into the water and carried off the turtles themselves.

Director of conservation organisation Paso Pacifico, Liza Gonzalez, said that in the past, between 20 to 40 percent of turtle nests have been destroyed, but that this year was particularly bad - some 700 people are believed to have descended onto the beach, and at least six turtles were killed by poachers.

Seriously, how devoid of compassion and heart do you have to be to go ahead and do something like that? Especially when it's clear how defenseless and helpless the animals are.

Credit: CEN
Credit: CEN

Thankfully, there is a little bit of good news to come out of this. Paso Pacifico reported the incident to local authorities and army personnel were sent to the beach to disperse the crowds, even though the nesting process had almost finished by that point.

However, local media report that four people were arrested after police identified suspected poachers after the video footage was released on social media.

It's unknown what happened to the turtles the poachers stole, but hopefully they weren't harmed and have been found and released back into the wild.

Some reports suggest that poaching is linked to Nicaragua's current economic crisis - the result of decreased tourism and high unemployment - but while poverty and desperation can indeed breed crime, destroying the habitat of another living creature and stealing its eggs is about as low as you go.

Featured Image Credit: CEN

Mischa Pearlman

Mischa is a freelance journalist usually based in either New York or London. He has written for Kerrang!, Record Collector, NME, the New York Observer and FLOOD magazine, among others. Contact him at [email protected]

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