Turtles In Nicaragua

Many people with an innate connection to nature and keen love for animals aim to help their little furry buddies at some point of their lives. I’ve heard it all; from going to Thailand and saving the ever so noble elephants, to rescuing panda bears in a secluded part of China. Truth is, most people obliterate the fact that there is plenty of rescuing to do here. And why not talk about it? With Earth Day right around the corner, an article about sea turtles in Nicaragua seems very fitting. 

Turtles of all kinds are in danger of extinction all around the world. Why? The list seems to never end. For one part, millions of eggs are never even allowed to hatch. Instead, these creatures’ eggs are served as food in restaurants or sold at local markets. In addition, turtles die by the thousands each year in the hands of fishermen that sell their meat and transform the carapace, also known as the top of their shell, into what they call jewelry. Pursuing this further, these creatures unfortunately, meet their end desperately trying to free themselves from the insides of dangerous and illegal fishing nets. However, this is not the worst part. This turtle hunt has become the extreme of inhumanity. Some fishermen take the turtles from the water as they swim to land to lay their eggs, cut them open, steal the eggs, and leave a dying turtle to drift to land. Gruesome, I know, and I’m not even going into the details of how they manage to cleanly separate the meat from the carapace. It is important to lay out these facts, since they fuel our need to protect these harmless animals. 

Several attempts have been made to stop this turtle hunt, and although they have proved effective to a certain extent, these creatures can use all the help they can get. By now I have hopefully interested some of you on the issue at hand and you are wondering how you can make a difference. Well, your search is over. Several organizations such as “Tortugas Nicas,”  aim to protect these animals, are constantly looking for volunteers to help them rescue and rehabilitate turtles. If going to the beach for an entire month is out of the question, another important duty of those concerned with this issue is raising awareness. All the information can be found at www.tortugasnicas.org.  

-Zenelia Boza

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