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Wildlife

Dogs Blamed for Dead Turtle Found in Guiones

By Adam Dietrich

The recent discovery of a dead turtle with huge chunks bitten out of it has sparked concern that these protected sea creatures could be facing another threat in Nosara: guard dogs.

Guiones Tourist Police were called to the southern part of Guiones beach in the early hours of June 21 to deal with a dog attack. When they arrived, they found a sea turtle under attack. They chased the dog off but it was too late. The turtle was dead.

In an effort to spread the word about this issue, police sent photos to Martin Chacón Rodríguez. As a member of the foundation of fishers, the police felt Chacón could get the word out best.

The Tourist Police say with all the dogs on the beach at night, they’re surprised this hasn’t happened sooner.

However, Laura Brenes, a veterinarian with the Ostional Animal Refuge, is surprised. She said it’s uncommon for dogs to attack turtles. “The most common situation in Ostional is the dogs eating hatchlings or baby turtles, but the adult sea turtle is more difficult to see.”

Brenes said she can only remember one time in the last two years where dogs attacked a full grown sea turtle in Ostional. She thinks the dogs may have been underfed and out hunting.

Javier Hernandez Jiron, president of the foundation of fishers, says neighborhood dogs are likely the culprits. “Here in Guiones sometimes people don’t lock up their dogs, so at night they run wild,” he observed.

The police and Chacón said they released pictures of the dead turtle with the hopes that people would recognize the possible dangers involved in letting dogs loose at night, including possible threats to people and wildlife.

 
   
 

 

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