Thanks to the quick thinking of Francisco and Jose, Iguana Lodge’s staff, a sea turtle was rescued from local dogs on our beach.
One of the tough parts of living where there is so much wildlife is to see injury and death to its members. Even harder is to see the damage caused by human activities.
This morning, our valiant gardeners found a Pacific Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas listed as endangered by the IUCN and CITES) being attacked by some local dogs on the beach close to Iguana Lodge. This is nesting season for the sea turtles. The female sea turtles come out of the ocean, usually at night but some times during the early morning, and lay their nest. They dig a hole about 16 inches deep, lay about 100 eggs and then cover the nest with sand. This process that takes about 30-45 minutes and makes them extremely vulnerable to land animals. In Costa Rica, the natural land predator of the sea turtles are the big cats like the Jaguar and the Puma. With human encroachment, even in remote areas such as the Osa Peninsula, more and more often, man or man’s best friend, are responsible for turtle deaths and injuries on the beach. A turtle is defenseless against a pack of dogs.
Our staff quickly responded, chasing the dogs off, protecting the sea turtle form further attack and keeping the turtle moist with sea water until we could get it in a safer environment. Lucky for the sea turtle, our neighbor has a state of the art marine facility for fish development and made it available to help the turtle. Within in a short time we moved the turtle into a large holding tank where it will be cared for. Our neighbors have already contacted turtle experts in Florida and have set up a regime to maximize its chances of recovery. Fingers crossed, everyone hopes that in 3-7 days the sea turtle will be returned back to the Golfo Dulce.