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Leatherback Sea Turtle Eggs Stolen at Gunpoint

A reservation on Playa Moin at the province of Limon has been raided by six armed men, taking a total of 1,520 Leatherback Sea Turtle eggs.

Volunteer workers were bound, gagged and held at gunpoint as the poachers took the eggs from the 19 hatcheries in the facility.

Leatherback Sea Turtles is a critically endangered species, and Costa Rica has 2 national parks devoted to the preservation of these marine animals. However, Playa Moin is not under the jurisdiction of these national parks.

Poaching is a serious problem in Puerto Limon, and volunteers have reported receiving threats to yield the turtle eggs under the care of their organization. The police force is undermanned; having received requests for protection in the past, but their manpower is stretched as it is with conducting patrols and responding to calls.

Researchers and volunteers working for the protection of these gentle animals are trying to promote public awareness and have urged the public not to buy turtle eggs to discourage poachers.

The Leatherback Sea Turtle is the fourth largest existing reptile in the world. It is easy to distinguish it from other turtles due to its lack of a hard shell, having an oily skin instead.

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