In Costa Rica, the Olive Ridley turtles do their annual nesting on a 4-mile stretch of beach, mostly in September and October. The population of these turtles is dwindling, and the beach is protected to allow the turtles to deposit their eggs. However, last weekend, a large group of tourists found illegal ways onto the beach and swarmed it. They took photos of turtles. They stood in the way of turtles trying to reach the sand. They sat on the nests. They petted the turtles. They even put children on the turtles' backs for photo ops. Many of the turtles were unable to reach the beach and turned back to sea without laying their eggs.
The wildlife refuge is protected by only two rangers, and even with three national police officers sent in to help, the situation remained out of control.
I am appalled at the ignorance, irresponsibility, and blatant sense of entitlement these tourists showed. As my mom used to often say, "Is nothing sacred?"