Government bulldozers tore up a beach and crushed 20,000 leatherback turtle eggs--right in front of turtle watchers who support Trinidad's economy and who had traveled to Trinidad specifically to see the leatherbacks. Hundreds of sea turtle hatchlings were also brutally killed in the same debacle. In a further tragic irony, it emerges that the bulldozers had been deployed to safeguard a hotel where most of the guests are turtle watchers.
The hotel was at risk for flooding from a nearby river. But conservationists say the heavy equipment unnecessarily dug up a huge part of the beach that was not needed for the flood-control project.
The beach at Trinidad is widely considered to be the most densely used leatherback nesting area in the world. Conservationists and tourists are justifiably outraged at this careless waste of life. Tell Trinidad's government to fully investigate this violation of international sea turtle conventions so this never happens again!
We the undersigned are outraged at the needless wholesale destruction of sea turtle eggs and hatchlings that recently occurred on one of your beaches. That beach is widely regarded as the most important leatherback nesting area in the world.
The destruction was wanton and thoughtless. In an effort to protect a hotel from flooding, a bulldozer tore up a huge chunk of beach that was unnecessary to the project. This loss can never be adequately mitigated.
We demand you launch a full scale investigation into the planning, execution, and mismanagement of this flood-control project. We further demand that criminal charges for negligence be brought against those responsible for the enormous loss of turtles.
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