Bonfire leads to death of 80 leatherback hatchlings in Blanchisseuse
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Bonfire leads to death of 80 leatherback hatchlings in Blanchisseuse

Bonfire leads to death of 80 leatherback hatchlings in Blanchisseuse

Concern was raised this weekend by environmental group Nature Seekers, as it became aware of an incident at Blanchisseuse which led to the death of 80 leatherback turtle hatchlings.

The group said it was informed by the Blanchisseuse Environment Community Organization that it may have been due to a bonfire on the beach.

A short video clip was also posted on their Facebook page, showing the alleged bonfire.

Nature Seekers, via another Facebook post, called on the authorities to take action, since the entity responsible for the bonfire had been identified.

Nature Seekers said the hatchlings had little to no chance of surviving, given the long and tiring trek of digging themselves out of the sand, coupled with the heat of an average bonfire of 1,000 degrees Celsius.

Meanwhile, a group known as Sunsetters has apologized after investigating claims that its bonfire event may have harmed the creatures.

It said all due diligence was made in preparation for the party, with all permissions from the property owners and ensuring the area used was outside of the known nesting zones. The hatchlings were discovered 2 days after their event.

The group said approximately one hour after the bon fire was lit, they were asked to move the fire further island, and due to the size of the fire and winds, it had to be extinguished twice. Sunsetters added that due to the significant amount of time passed before this was brought to anyone’s attention, it was impossible to ascertain if the nest was affected by the Bon Fire.

The group has since committed to working together to help develop a safe nesting area on the beach. It also wants to work with the community via a fundraiser and adding manpower to a beach cleanup exercise. Sunsetters added that it will include NGOs and Community Leaders in the planning phases of its events to ensure the environment is used responsibly and treated with respect.

 

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July 16th, 2017

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