(AP) – Thousands of leatherback turtle eggs and hatchlings have been crushed by heavy machinery along a Trinidad beach widely regarded as the world’s densest nesting area for the biggest of all living sea turtles. Government work crews with bulldozers were redirecting the Grand Riviere, a river that was threatening a hotel where tourists from around the globe watch the huge endangered turtles lay their eggs.
But several conservationists who monitor turtle populations say the crews badly botched the job, sloppily digging up an unnecessarily large part of the important nesting beach. Trinidad environmentalist Sherwin Reyz estimates that 20,000 eggs were lost. He says scores of vultures and stray dogs have descended on the beach, eating the remains.
Trinidad’s ministers of public works and tourism could not be immediately reached for comment.