By September 10, 2015 58 Comments Read More →

Photos of Beach Tourists Prove We’re Becoming Disconnected From Nature

Vic Bishop, Staff Writer
Waking Times

Long before the days of 24-hour convenience stores and instant communication, human beings lived in some semblance of harmony with nature. People used to know that we too are also a part of the circle of life, and that respect is what holds it all together. Sadly, so many have totally lost this connection now and even the most basic understanding and appreciation of other forms of life can be hard to find.

Here are pictures to prove it.

At Ostenial beach in beautiful Costa Rica this past weekend, hundreds of tourists and tour guides swarmed a protected sea turtle habitat like gangbusters, creating a shocking scene where a mob of excited idiots completely disrupted dozens of delicate turtles, preventing them from laying eggs, and then trampling many of their nests.

The authorities were called in, but were ineffective at stopping the mob scene as jubilant travelers posed for selfies with turtles, splashed in the waves with them, and let their children ride on the backs of these pregnant and confused mothers-to-be.

“Refuge administrator Carlos Hernández, told the daily La Nación he had never seen that many people at the beach, located in the canton of Santa Cruz. Some tourists touched the turtles, others stood on top of the nests, and parents placed their children on top of the turtles to take photographs, the group reported.” [Tico Times]

Take a look at some of the photos posted on Facebook:

Tico Times

“Ostional receives massive turtle arrivals, known as arribadas, almost every month. But September and October are the peak months of the season, and tourism companies increase tours to watch the turtles’ arrival and nesting.” [Tico Times]

Turtles 6

“This particular arribada occurred during a weekend, increasing the number of visitors, SITRAMINAE members said.

The lack of rainfall affecting the northern region also helped attract more visitors. September and October usually register the most rainfall of the year, and rains at Ostional can cause large river swells that prevent visitors from reaching the beach.

The refuge is guarded by only two park rangers, and last weekend they received help from only three National Police officers, who were unable to control the situation.” [Tico Times]

Turtles - 5

For people who work with sea turtles, such as marine conservationist Jonathon Miller-Weisberger of Guaria de Osa eco-lodge in Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula, this case is an extreme example of a very common problem in Costa Rica and around the world. He says that turtles are very sensitive, and that as both tourists and the communities that live near nesting populations of marine turtles realize that these creatures are rapidly dwindling in numbers, they must learn to change their ways about how they interact with and care for them. His organization, 4Biodiversity.org actively educates local youths about how to preserve and protect these noble creatures, in addition to preserving active nests.


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Conserving turtles can be a dangerous business, and the government is looking into how it can best address this recent incident. A couple of years ago, turtle rescue volunteer Jairo Mora was murdered on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica while protecting nests from poachers who hunt turtle eggs at night to sell. Locals buy the eggs to eat and to consume as a delicacy in local drinking pubs. The case was thrown out of court on a technicality later on, and the murderers were set free, proving that it is not easy to protect marine life, or those who sacrifice themselves for it.

Turtles - 2
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Just a couple of generations ago, people better understood nature and had more of an inherent concern for it. With that now apparently gone, how much longer will humans and the animal kingdom be able to co-exist?

What do you think about this? Please leave a comment below. 

About the Author

Vic Bishop is a staff writer for Waking Times.

Sources:

– Photos are courtesy of https://www.facebook.com/GeografiadeCR?fref=photo

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  • edenaus

    Gross Are they Americans. They have a disgusting habit of poaching wild animals for their pet trade.

  • David Coulson

    this wouldnt happen in australia because it would be over policed with strict laws they would probly lock them all up

  • Alice Gatto

    These people are obviously ignorant of the need to conserve the turtles and leave the nests and eggs alone. If Costa Rica wants tourists and turtles they better start educating their people and the travel agencies now. It isn’t that hard to make people proud to be protectors the wildlife. Get an advertising plan that has people adopting a beach or a particular nesting area – give them a reason to participate in conservation of the species… Baby steps and education are better than just bashing the ignorant.

  • D Thomas

    This article makes out that our disregard for nature is a new thing, this only highlights the ignorance of the author.
    While in some imagined romanticised version of the past mankind was a race of tree loving druids until a few generations ago, the reality is that buffaloes nearly went extinct from train passengers shooting at them, that whales were hunted to make lipstick and engine grease, that people would shoot distant birds just to find out what species they were, that the migration of humans across the continents correlates with the extinction of megafauna.
    When viewed against the history of the human race these tourists actions are far closer to being those of PETA poster children than they are to worst that our kind has done.

  • Karlin

    The direction seems to be going “towards communing with nature” – but maybe that is just where I live, in a RURAL area?? But also that these refuges exist is a sign of humans communing, or being aware of and CARING at least.

  • Catherine Edmends

    these people are a human virus – they need to be shed

  • MsPony65

    Citation?

  • Mggie

    Ignorance abounds.

  • Kallol Paul

    We are nothing without nature…These pics are little proofs..!

  • zarcon zarconinni

    When I first came to your planet I quickly observed that it really sucks to be an animal here. Human beings feel that they have the right to use animals for amusement, labour and to eat their flesh. Sadly it is generally not believed and practiced on your planet the universal axiom that ‘what is sent around goes around’.

  • Erin Winslow (V)

    “Just a couple of generations ago, people better understood nature and had more of an inherent concern for it.” I cannot agree here. The entire history of colonialism is a history of “grab the goodies and run.”

  • Lysa Arryn

    That makes me sick.

  • icedgreentea

    This is where the cops should fire guns into the air to disperse the tourists. Except that might further traumatize the turtles. Sigh.

  • Can we please see how wonderful it is that people are curious and energetic, though they don’t know how to direct that energy? They want to be connected, but don’t know how… We can work with this enthusiasm and curiosity better than we can work with apathy and disinterest. The trick will be to teach them how to be with other beings for the benefit of those beings, while leaving their own egos at the door… meaning no selfies to upload and no direct contact to these turtles… that will be a challenge… I do see a lot of hope here.

    • MsPony65

      Very good, insightful post, Kathleen.

      We don’t know how these people got to the beach. We don’t know if it was sold as part of a holiday package or…?

      The tour guides are certainly responsible for this invasion. Did they tell the tourists that it is acceptable to “interact” with the turtles in this way? Did they in any way educate them?

      You can’t fault the tourists for ignorance when they, in all probability, were not taught about turtles. It’s not in your average school’s curriculum.

      • Catherine Edmends

        yes you can fault the tourists – it’s bloody obvious that this is an important time for the turtles – get those arseholes off the beach and fine their arses – that’s how idiots learn – hip pocket nerve

    • Catherine Edmends

      they are incredibly stupid and self absorbed with no fricking idea – they need to be banned from the beaches – humans cannot be trusted en mass to do the right thing

  • Helena_Handbasket

    Nice.. but how does your method help resolve the exceedingly tangible issue of an endangered species having their nesting grounds compromised and their nests traveled?
    “Oh, well my advice is to ignore them and they won’t be a problem… not to ME anyway”

    You’re almost as pathetic as they are.

  • sven hansson

    Incredible stupid, fine them all, throw them in jail over the night, take their passports and fine them 500 dollars for every minute they stayed on the beach after being told to leave. That will teach next batch of idiots not to do it again.

  • Zina Ciceklic

    The man is shameless idiot, look at this shameless fool out of itself makes the spectacle of revulsion. The photographs irresponsible, mad, shameless insolence, man is a tragic idiot.

  • Royalbird

    When we were in Hawaii, tourists (people) weren’t even allowed on the beaches where turtles were nesting. Why can’t they just make that a law there? We could stand outside the roped off area and look.

  • Karina

    Hi, my name is Karina and I am from Denmarki! Back in 1998 , when I was 21 years old, I was living for a period of time in Costa Rica.
    I was both a tourist and a voluntear worker at the National Paque in Cauita, the caribian cost. Before I started to work.

    This country is a nature pearl on its own and I wanted to explore this country wish has a amazing nature and yes, I also went on a turtle tour. What disturbs me in this article is, that the way of doing it must have changed.

    I remember that we were sneakingaaround in at night, from a distance and not amoungst them and wachting them crawl up on land to lay there eggs. We were asked to be quiet all along, while the guide used his torch to show us the process. I remember that everything went peacfully and after a short wile we left. and it was absolutly amazing.

    The way of doing things must have changed a lot. I know that tourist can be ignorant…in a very terrible way.Leaving garbage everywere , having a missing feeling of that the nature and its habitants are not pulled in from Walt Disney, but real living creatures.
    Don´t get me wrong- the local at that time were terrible aswell an I used a lot of time making campaigns and talking to local as tourist, about nature and how with easy effort to preserve it.
    So in the end, I think it must all come down to education and marketing- a common effort how you sell Costa Rica and its amazing nature..

    Like I wrote, Its been many years since I have been there, but from all of my hearts , I hope it is not to late.

    Karina.

    • Helena_Handbasket

      Excellent post karina!

  • ter ber

    That’s as stupid as people from the US walking up to buffalo and bears to have their pictures taken. I guess there are idiots all over the world.

  • sheilam22

    says who?

    • Laurent Franssen

      Says geography !

  • MellowCat

    Society is becoming one that devalues all life more and more each day.

  • Defiant

    The ONLY answer is to vacate the cities and return to our loin-cloths! Back to nature! We’ll eat nuts and berries and shelter under banana leaves! Life will be GREAT!

  • Lisa Scharin

    But you really can’t hide your eyes from something and pretend it doesn’t exist! That is very dangerous and not very wise! It also doesn’t help solve the problem either! When you see an injustice, you should act on it, otherwise, you are just as guilty as those doing the injustice.

    • Josephine Dorion

      lisa, it is not a pretend. You concluded that
      I was pretending. It is my intent to see only those I want to see. Read my article again.

      Am I supposed to solve any of these “idiot’s” problems…? Tell me how you do it. I only see heavy condemnation and judgment among those who responded here. They have no solution. My solution is NOT to be part of the problem. and to live my life the way I tailor it.

      I have never experienced any danger , and I should tell you that I went around and around the USA alone as an earthkeeper for 5 years. I slept wherever , I never experienced any danger because I intended that no danger should befall me.

      I have never been affected by any illness that affected my family line (diabetes, hypertension, heart disease. etc.) because I intended that illnesses are afraid of me.

      I live an abundant life. Things, money, houses, cars, people appear to me ,as I need them and as I call them with intent and focus.

      That I’m guilty of injustice because…….is a patent lie.
      I don;t mean you are lying purposely but you bought into humanity’s belief systems, such as superstitions and aphorisms that upon close scrutiny are designed to tie us all into more and more miseries.
      You “should” act on it., otherwise you are guilty.
      What a guilt trip……………Your insane world has NO POWER to guilt-trip me. That is another focused intent.

      • Helena_Handbasket

        Maybe you saw no solutions proposed because you blanked those out to. You DID admit you only choose to see what you want to. CLEARLY you’re choosing to ignore any facts that directly contradict your opinion. There are several solutions proposed in this thread.

        Also, considering that you just went on a self indulgent ramble that has not one bit to do with reality and entirely to do with your own delusions.

        I hate to tell you dear, but you are affected by an illness. A serious mental one. Your natterings are almost verbatim the same crap that was coming out of my husbands mouth for two years before he decided he was meant to “uncreate” the universe and I was cruelly stopping him by stealing his magic.

        • Josephine Dorion

          nasty nasty.

      • Lisa Scharin

        When you see an injustice, the moral, ethical response shouldn’t be to ignore it, it should be to act on it and fight to change laws, etc. As you said yourself-act on it or YOU are guilty, so you implicate yourself to be guilty of these things since you decide NOT to focus on it and yes-to only see those things you want to see-WOW! So you walk around with blinders on? Than yes-you are guilty of abuses all around you since you do NOT act on them! ME? You ask what do I do, well first of all, I am a vegan, so I do NOT partake in the violence and suffering of animals or fish to eat. Second I use a lot of my “spare” time volunteering, calling, e-mailing and meeting with my officials. Tweeting for causes, signing petitions, protesting circuses & protesting testing on animals, fur farms, handing out leaflets downtown and all around. Participating in fairs to educate people on living more compassionate and sustainable lives. Being proactive, progressive and causing change! NOT hiding my head in the sand, covering my eyes or eyes to the world around me! Getting involved
        in your world is a far better way to live a purposeful, meaningful life!

  • Lisa Scharin

    All the tourism companies that organized this should be fined. There should be MORE education and awareness about these turtles that are probably endangered!
    I live in South Carolina and we have the Ripley Kemp Turtles come to nest here. The nests are marked and warnings are present. People know NOT to disturb them or go on the dunes. People also are told not to shine lights onto the beaches at night! The Aquarium is very active in caring for injured turtles and there are Turtle volunteers that help monitor the nests and check turtle health. There are NO mobs, or selfies going on! It is very professional, serious and well-known that these turtles are NOT to be disturbed when coming ashore, etc.!
    There is NO excuse for Costa Rica other than they are STILL in the dark ages and are absolutely clueless as to the beauty they have been blessed with! SHAME ON THEM! It’s the 21st century and MUCH MORE should be done to protect these turtles and other species along with their habitat. More police are needed, more signs and PLEASE- GET EDUCATED!!!! Again-it’s the 21st century-act like you’ve “evolved”!!!!!

    • Rogue

      I agree with you except for the police bit, we already have far too much of these pain in the neck clowns. Now how do you educate idiots and ignorants who are barely able to respect themselves, leave alone others. It’s nice to put the blame on the government but this government is like all other governments, inept and incapable to do it’s job. So we are back to education, I suggest to start with reading and writing, beyond their initials that is, after that explain a thing or two and then we’ll see. I do not have a lot of hope but give it a try by all means.

  • Rob Spek

    Discusting! same goes for the authorities, since this isn’t coming out of no where. Strange seen the fact that Costa Rica is a very eco friendly country. Is there already a petition in order maybe to prevent this the next time.

  • Emily

    Wow this is a big bunch of morons

  • Rainer Schulte

    Those beaches should have at least temporal security fences so the people could not get this close. Some 20- 30 armed guards those days would be good. Since years I observe CR going worst on most fronts. Robberey, murder and so on is fast increasing. The protecting of their natural resources broken down at all corners. One of my friends there at San José has an AK47 and a Magnum to defend himself. When he is out frogging in the forest- he finds his car standing on 4 bricks- without tires. CR no longer is what it was in the past. Suriname is coming now.

  • Tony Karais

    Glad to see assholes (well I guess ‘glad’ isn’t the right word) aren’t limited to just the US and Canada. What a fucked up world we live in. There is zero doubt in my mind that humans are regressing mentally and socially. Bunch of self-centered, me me me, assholes.

  • carol

    Just like if you went to the hospital to deliver your baby, and knowing that there were ladies in all of the ward rooms giving birth, but there were huge predators everywhere, bears and lions, etc., gathering in the hallways and rooms and under the beds, etc.

  • Miss JMV

    This is disgusting, but as much you want to hate the tourists, they were given free reign on that beach. The government should recognize that sea turtles are an endangered species and put controls in place accordingly. I was in Trinidad last year and they had very specific rules about interacting with the turtles because they did not want them to get so startled that they left their nests.

    • Andrea She-Ra Easton

      You can not place the blame onthe local goverments, yes they should have strict controls in place but every human on that beach knows right from wrong and made a conscious choice to show absolutely no respect for the animals by thier actions. We have become such a creedy race that we have no boundries anymore.

    • 16rpark18

      …ultimately the responsibility is personal, and I think, the point of the article- many people are still very disconnected from conscientiousness and nature so they behave in this manner, when in fact they are trampling themselves and obstructing themselves, disrespecting themselves.

  • julie

    Where was Sea Shepherd’s ‘Operation Jairo’? !

  • downtownjuliebrown

    Only one hatchling in a thousand make it to adulthood (15-25 yrs) They can live to be over 100 yrs old.

  • Spanky

    These are the actions of wildly ignorant and self indulgent idiots. Many jobs can be created by simply hiring evironmentally conscious caretakers to educate these fools and keep the hoards of mindless public at bay from all sensitive areas. Every single person on that beach is completely disconnected from not only their environment, but a basic understanding of reality.

  • bonnielou

    Who are all these idiots? Where do they come from?

    • AndreaNY

      see a few blondes but majority dark haired … so no telling but they are truly unaware

      • Alejandra Garceau

        Americans are diverse. In fact, 50% of the USA population are dark-haired and DARK-SKINNED just like George Clooney. And the “blond” ones usually dye their hair blond. Yeah, they’re Americans. I have a close friend from Costa Rica (living in Costa Rica) who always complains about all of the tourists being Americans. So yes, most of them at least are Americans! Sorry to disappoint!

        • Ailora

          Well, there you have it. It’s ALL Americans on the beach, case closed. A nice blanket accusation, how wonderful. I’m a deeply empathetic person connected to the natural world and the plight of non-human species on our earth, and I’m American. But one thing I possess that a lot of other people don’t, whether they be American or not, is the ability to see the big picture. And that big picture is the fact that most of humanity sucks and is self absorbed and stupid. And it has nothing to do with invisible borders on the ground.

        • sheilam22

          Yeah, hate to disappoint BUT many people think ALL tourists are American. Just cuz your friend hates Americans, who, if it is true that ALL tourists to that country are from the USA, keep that country alive – guess those poachers must me American as well

        • AndreaNY

          It depends on what area of the country you are in

        • AndreaNY

          and I am sure they slept in a holiday inn express last night

      • Lisa Scharin

        NO dumb blonde jokes allowed!!! I’m a blonde and I’m NOT dumb! Certainly know better than to go along with this circus!

    • Emily

      around the world, actually. here are some more idiots blaming usa again.. lol

  • jimmime

    Well, people are stupid, and we are people. Quick, get the camera/phone/I gotta get this one.

  • Christina 19680

    People can be such ignorant as*holes

  • veroniquepalmer

    God humans are so stupid!!!

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