strange behaviors

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  • Richard Conniff writes about behavior, in humans and other animals, on two, four, six, and eight legs, plus the occasional slither.

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Murdered for a Turtle Egg Aphrodisiac

Posted by Richard Conniff on June 4, 2013

Mora working with a marine turtle nest (Photo:

Mora working with a marine turtle nest (Photo:

It’s no secret that protecting wildlife can be dangerous work. As many as 1000 wildlife rangers and conservationists around the world have been murdered over the past decade by poachers, illegal loggers, ranchers, drug dealers and militias, according to one estimate. Still, Costa Rica, long regarded as one of the greenest and happiest countries on Earth, is just about the last place you would expect it to happen.

But late last Thursday night, a young Costa Rican conservationist, together with three women from the United States and a fourth from Spain, found out otherwise.

The group was driving back from patrolling a beach where endangered leatherback sea turtles make their nests in the sand. A downed palm tree blocked their way on a remote stretch of road, and when 26-year-old Jairo Mora Sandoval got out of his Suzuki 4×4 to move it, five masked man with guns suddenly appeared. The kidnappers took the group to an abandoned house, where they tied up the women and stole their cellphones and money. Then two of the kidnappers drove off with Mora in the Suzuki.

Playa Moín, where the incident took place, is … to read the rest of this story, click here.


One Response to “Murdered for a Turtle Egg Aphrodisiac”

  1. […] months ago, I reported on the brutal killing of a sea turtle conservationist in Costa Rica.  This morning police began making arrests in the […]

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