For police officers in Jacó, protecting turtle eggs is a consuming job

Law enforcement has been facing criticism because police have been unable to stop the theft of turtle eggs on remote beaches.

The tenor of the criticism peaked after the murder by poachers May 31, 2013, of Jairo Mora Sandoval a Caribbean coast turtle protector.

Still the Fuerza Pública and judicial investigators make countless arrests of egg thieves and turtle butchers.

Not widely know is that members of the Fuerza Pública have taken it on themselves to maintain a turtle incubation site at Jacó. Officials said that Oswaldo Rodríguez, the subdirector of the police agency there, was mainly responsible.

Olive ridley sea turtles have been arriving at the pacific beaches since July, and Rodríguez and other volunteers have been busy rescuing turtle eggs and placing them in the protected sanctuary.  This turtle is considered critically endangered.

Some 408 turtles have hatched already at the nursery, said the security ministry in praising the work its employees do on their free time.

The volunteers snatch the eggs as soon as they have been laid to protect them. The beaches have heavy traffic and even roaming dogs are a threat to the eggs. They are placed in duplicate sand nests inside the sanctuary.

The security ministry transferred Rodríguez to the Garabito area two years ago. That is when he started his work with turtles.

Oswaldo Rodríguez patrols the turtle egg sanctuary where each nest is set out on a carefully mapped grid.

Oswaldo Rodríguez patrols the turtle egg sanctuary where each nest is set out on a carefully mapped grid.18

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