Stray Dogs Kill Over A Dozen Baby Turtles On Vigie Beach – St. Lucia Times News

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A pack of stray dogs attacked and killed over a dozen baby turtles on Vigie beach Monday, much to the alarm of local conservationists.

Fisheries Biologist Yvonne Edwin disclosed that at about 4:00 pm, the Department of Fisheries received several calls from individuals who discovered the dead turtle hatchlings along the beach.

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Edwin explained that more than ten dogs roaming the beach pounced on the Hawksbill turtles as they emerged from their nest.

“The dogs attacked them. The freshness of the nest even when they emerged from that nest would cause that attraction to the dogs – being on the beach and seeing that activity in the sand,” Edwin explained.

And she told St Lucia Times that because the hatchlings are so tiny, after the dogs attack they would discover that there is nothing much to eat.

The Fisheries Biologist said some of the hatchlings were headless and without flippers.

“I collected eighteen and a half – it really was a half left behind – dead turtles. One of the persons who made the report did try to get two live ones into the water,” she disclosed.

Edwin said the dead creatures were buried and officials remained to monitor the area.

Nevertheless, they did not see any other hatchlings emerge.

The Fisheries Biologist explained that the development was a cause for concern because it is currently the nesting season when turtles visit the Vigie beach.

She also noted that after weekend beach events, people leave garbage which attracts dogs.

According to the Fisheries Department official, the stray dog issue is not new to the  Department or the National Conservation Authority (NCA).

“We have partnered with the City Council in the past years where they would have assisted in getting the dogs off the beach,” Edwin recalled.

But she noted that there had been a resurgence as people released their unwanted dogs on the beach.

“People need to be mindful that when they do not need their dogs, the beach is not the place to release them,” Edwin told St Lucia Times.

“Even more concerning is that the sea turtle population can be affected by those stray animals,” she lamented.

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