Three Arrested in Oaxaca After Search Reveals 10,000 Stolen Turtle Eggs
Mexico News Daily
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August 27, 2014

A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys, July 27. (Associated Press)

Hopping on a bus with 10,375 turtle eggs in your bags seems a challenge, but that’s what three Oaxacan residents did. Today, however, they’re in jail.

The three were detained after state authorities and inspectors from the federal environmental agency Profepa conducted a search of the bus in the city of Tehuantepec in southeastern Oaxaca. The search was part of an ongoing operation to stop trafficking in marine wildlife.

Hundreds of thousands of sea turtles lay their eggs annually on Mexico’s Oaxaca coast, one of the world’s top five turtle nesting areas, according to Wildcoast, a preservation organization.

Harvesting the turtles and their eggs for commercial use was common until 1990, when the federal government banned the practice due to fears that the species was under threat of extinction.

But stealing turtle eggs from their nests in the sand is not uncommon and is not difficult considering the many miles of deserted beach where the nests are found.

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