Six green turtles barely escaped the dinner table Monday morning, after National Police officers in Limón, on the Caribbean coast, chased off poachers who’d caught them in nets at sea and were preparing to load them into a vehicle.
The turtles were being removed from a boat next to a parked car beside the road at a stretch of coastline near Limón known as Barra de Matina.
“We received a call from someone who saw this taking place,” said Didier Mora, of the National Police.
The police arrived just as the last two turtles were being carted out of the boat. The poachers fled upon seeing the authorities, Mora said, and the turtles were saved.
Green turtles, like all of Costa Rica’s sea turtles, are considered to be a threatened species, and are protected by law.
According to Didier, June marks the beginning of the turtle-breeding season in the region, and complaints about turtle poaching are common this time of year.
“We were fortunate that none of the turtles died,” he said, adding that upon receiving permission from the Environment and Energy Ministry (MINAE), authorities safely returned all the turtles to the water.