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Grand Riviere fiasco reported worldwide
News of the botched re-route of a Grande Riviere river, which resulted in the death of hundreds of leatherback turtle hatchlings and eggs, has been reported worldwide. The work was carried out by a crew from the Ministry of Water and the Environment Drainage Division and has conservationists in an uproar.
The UK Guardian reported that Sherwin Reyz of the Grande Riviere Environmental Organisation estimated “20,000 eggs were crushed or consumed by the scores of vultures and stray dogs that descended upon the narrow strip of beach to eat the remains after the operation by the Ministry of Works on Saturday.”
The Los Angeles Times said the environmental advocacy group Papa Bois Conservation wrote on their Facebook page that bulldozer operators were not at fault. “Those running the bulldozers are not to blame. They are not trained to deal with turtles,” the Papa Bois Conservation group posted on Facebook. Instead, the environmentalists slammed “those higher up, not one of whom was on site to make sure the works were done with as little damage as possible.”
American Broadcasting Company (ABC) news ran an article quoting Marydele Donnelly, director of international policy for the Florida-based Sea Turtle Conservancy. She was reported as saying “avoidable losses of thousands of eggs and hatchlings is always a cause for concern but “this one event will not change the course of leatherback conservation in the Caribbean.”
Fox News included the opinion of Papa Bois Conservation director, Marc de Verteuil. He said “the river had already eroded a lot of the dense nesting areas on the beach before the weekend, but the government work crews made a bad situation worse.” The story was also found in the UK Telegraph, Global Post and CNN.
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