Trinidad leatherback turtle hatchlings crushed

Undated file photo of a leatherback hatchling Leatherback turtles can grow up to weigh a tonne and live to 100 years

Related Stories

Thousands of leatherback turtle eggs and hatchlings have been crushed by bulldozers on Trinidad's northern coast, conservationists say.

Workers had been called in to redirect a river that was eroding Grande Riviere beach, in front of a hotel used by tourists to watch the turtles.

Environmentalists say workers botched the job and destroyed some 20,000 eggs.

The mile-long stretch of beach is regarded as a leading nesting sites for the biggest of all sea turtles.

Sherwin Reyz of the Grande Riviere Environmental Organisation said vultures and stray dogs ate many of the hatchlings whose shells had been crushed by the heavy machinery.

"They had a very good meal; I was near tears," he said.

The owner of the hotel who had asked the government to redirect the river because it was threatening his property and the rich turtle nesting areas in front of it also expressed his dismay.

"For some reason they dug up the far end of the beach, absolutely encroaching into the good nesting areas," hotelier Piero Guerrini told the Associated Press news agency.

The government has so far not commented on the claim.

Leatherbacks return to lay their eggs on the beach where they were born and Trinidad's northern coastline has some of the world's densest leatherback turtle nesting areas.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Latin America & Caribbean stories



  • How ebola spread graphicPatient zero

    How one boy’s death triggered Ebola outbreak

  • Passport control at airportNews quiz

    How much do you know about migration?

  • Phillip Hughes playing cricket for Australia in September 2014Brain trauma

    How is the brain injured and protected from injury?

  • Passengers pushing planeHeave!

    How many people does it take to push a plane?

  • Complainant'Like being in hell'

    The story of one victim of paedophile care home boss

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.