Brutality against animals persists in Guatemala: they beat a parlama turtle to remove its eggs

By EntreMundos

Authorities of the National Council of Protected Areas reported that an adult sea turtle of the Parlama species was brutally beaten by unknown persons on Tecojate Beach, Nueva Concepción, Escuintla, who tried to steal its eggs. Despite being an endangered species, this turtle continues to be harassed by some Guatemalans to trade their eggs in markets and beaches to be consumed as an “exotic delicacy.” There are very few specimens of this type of turtle, although they still reach the Guatemalan coasts to spawn during specific seasons. Not only are the Parlama tortoises hunted, the eggs of the Baule tortoise are also coveted, of which even fewer specimens remain.

The tortoise that was the victim of this inhuman act received blows to the skull that caused serious fractures, as well as blows to the opening of the uterus, so the animal is in a delicate state. She was transferred to the Zoo Center in Hawaii, Monterrico, where she is being cared for her recovery. Her rescue was possible with the support of the AGHN Marine Conservation Center who comment that right now it is at the peak of the sea turtle nesting season on the Pacific Coast of Guatemala, so many turtles are coming out to spawn.

AGHN staff helping the turtle. Photo: CONAP

Cruelty to animals for economic purposes, or out of ignorance, is a problem that is repeated in different parts of Guatemala and towards different species of animals. For example, in July of last year, an otter was cruelly lynched in San Martín Zapotitlán in the department of Retalhuleu; Furthermore, in January 2017, residents of San Rafael Pacayá II de Coatepeque, captured and killed a mycoleon, believing it to be the “cadejo”, the mysterious animal of Central America legends.

Although CONAP and other environmental organizations that help turtles, such as AGHN, CECON’s Tortugario Monterrico, and USAC, the Asociación Rescate y Conservación de Vida Silvestre ARCAS, Guatepassport, among others, make great efforts to conserve the turtles. different species of turtles in Guatemala, these animals face not only their exploitation for human consumption, the theft of their eggs, the destruction of their natural habitat, accidents and pollution, as Raquel Díaz indicates in her article <<Effects of plastic waste in the river, lakes and seas of Guatemala>>

The Guatepassport organization, denounces in its FB account that they have seen how unscrupulous locals in the Pozas del Nance in Sipacate, Escuintla, lift the turtles in weight while they spawn, making them believe that they are burying their eggs while they take them as stolen goods. Likewise, they indicate that they have witnessed how the drivers of the boats go by at full speed and with the blades of the motors they hurt the turtles, even when they know that they can hurt the turtles.

UNDP recommends carrying out the following actions to support the conservation of sea turtles:

  • Keep the beaches clean so that the turtles that the turtles can nest properly,
  • Respect the space of the turtles, avoid disturbing them when seeing them on the beaches.
  • DO NOT BUY turtles for human consumption, nor their eggs.
  • Prevent our domestic animals from destroying turtle nests, especially during their nesting (July to January).
  • Avoid the use of vehicles and motorcycles on the beaches, especially at night, and be aware of the speed of boats.

Cover photos: CONAP