Coast guard doubles as foster parent for many turtles

Members of the coast guard are taking credit for saving 7,800 turtle eggs that might otherwise have been snatched by thieves.

The members of the Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas also give credit to residents of Palo Seco who also are active in saving turtle eggs.

The Ministerio de Seguridad outlined the efforts on the Pacific coast Wednesday. The ministry received plenty of bad press due to the death of a turtle protector on the Caribbean coast and complaints of poor police protection there.

There also was a problem with excessive tourists at Ostional last month that even made The New York Times.

At Palo Seco de Parrita on the central Pacific coast the job is to be alert when sea turtles come ashore to lay eggs. The eggs are taken from the nests dug in the sand by the turtles  and moved to more protected quarters.

The ministry said that some 2,000 turtles have hatched and been liberated at this nursery facility.

Through December the olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) and Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) sea turtles come ashore and dig their nests.

The ministry said that coast guard members and Palo Seco neighbors rescued 162 eggs from two turtles that arrived on shore this weekend. They also witnessed the birth at the nursery of 103 baby turtles.

Early Sunday they liberated the babies into the sea.

The ministry paid special tribute to Cecelie Brunder, a U.S. expat turtles100115who with others has been living in Palo Seco for 15 years. She along with others has been rescuing turtles since 2006, the ministry said.

In all, the coast guard-resident teams have saved 130 nests already this year, the ministry said.

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