Authors: Christine Hsu
(PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad) -- The destruction of hundreds of sea turtle hatchlings has been causing a stir on the Caribbean island of Trinidad.
The leatherback turtle eggs were destroyed last week during excavation work being carried out by that country's Ministry of Works and Infrastructure on the Grande Riviere River, located on the island's north coast.
Leatherback turtles are considered an endangered species, and Trinidad is known to be one of the world's major nesting spots for the turtle.
The mass destruction of eggs took place during remedial work being done near the Mt. Plaisir Estate Restaurant and Hotel -- a popular destination for tourists who go to the island to watch the turtles nest, according to statement issued by Trinidad's Ministry of Environment and Water Resources and obtained by ABC News.
What has gotten some activists enraged is that Trinidad's government has defended the work being done, saying it was done under emergency conditions due to sudden erosion.
The head of the island's Environmental Management Authority, Dr. Joth Singh, has attempted to downplay the destruction of the sea turtle eggs, and is quoted in the Trinidad Express newspaper as saying, "contrary to reports, only a few hundred hatchlings were unfortunately lost in the action."
Dr. Singh has also said that eggs had to be sacrificed to ensure the river didn't damage the rest of the beach where even more turtles nest, the newspaper reported.
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