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British Tourist Rescues Endangered Turtles in Nicaragua


NICARAGUA NEWS – A British man on holiday in Nicaragua has rescued two large loggerhead turtles from potentially ending up on a dinner menu.

Chris Skone-Roberts, 44, was horrified when he saw two 5ft loggerheads with their fins tied up, on their backs struggling to breathe in the garden of a bar on Little Corn Island off the east coast of the Central American country.

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The animals had been dragged from the sea and left to suffocate before they would have been butchered and served up as a local delicacy.

Skone-Roberts tried to throw water on the mammals to stop them dehydrating further but a woman pulled him off, angrily shouting that they were her property.

It is thought that once dead, the woman would have sold the meat on the black market.

Skone-Roberts called police to report the illegal activity, which sadly is becoming increasingly common in Nicaragua.

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While he waited for the police, Skone-Roberts rounded up a large group of tourists and divers to help rescue the dying animals

“Sometimes you are faced with a situation so outrageous that you have no other choice than to intervene and right a wrong,’ he said.

“These poor creatures are endangered enough but to leave them to die like this was inhumane so we had to act.”
The team spent 30 minutes pouring buckets of water over the animals to try to revive them.

By the time the police arrived, the turtles were breathing again and the police ordered them to be released.

The turtles were put on to carts and taken back to the sea.

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Once in the water the rescuers, with the help of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, a non-profit, marine conservation organisation, eased the turtles back into swimming before cutting their ties.

“We left them on their backs to stop them from struggling and tearing their fins apart,” Chris, a PADI Rescue Diver and former paramedic, added.

“Once we cut the ties they went off like the clappers, it was wonderful to see.”

A growing trend in sea turtle meat is thought to be behind the drastically reducing numbers of the endangered species across the world.

In Nicaragua it is estimated more than 35,000 sea turtles are killed each year so they can be sold at significantly high prices for their meat and eggs across the world.

Source: Daily Mail, Sea Shepherd

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