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On Turtle Patrol in Costa Rica

I was able to work in Costa Rica at the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge. On a deserted beach where the leatherback turtle nests, we were to patrol the beach and the hatcheries to protect the eggs from poachers.

I was there for a week, and the hardest part honestly was the stifling heat and the relentless mosquitoes and sandflies. Covered head to toe in clothes and insect repellent at all times (100% DEET), I still got eaten alive.

The night patrols were done completely in the dark. We would walk single file, desperately trying to see the person in front of us in the dark, and scan the beach for turtles nesting. Coming upon the first one I was in awe.

We would then collect the eggs as they were being laid and relocate them to the hatcheries, to assure no poachers would raid the nests. The process was quite amazing, and humbling to watch nature at work.

By: Jennie Morris

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