Environmentalist Jairo Mora Sandoval was the victim of a violent and senseless murder, but his life was not in vain. Case in point: Around 82 leatherback sea turtle hatchlings were released by the volunteers of the Widecast environmental protection non-profit organization this past weekend in Moin, province of Limon. These hatchlings emerged from the eggshells and nests that Jairo Mora loved to protect.
According to Widecast director Didier Chacon, Jairo had protected the leatherback sea turtles as they massively arrived from the ocean to nest on the beach of Moin this past April. It takes a couple of months for baby sea turtles of the Dermochelys coriacea species to hatch.
Widecast incubates the eggs to keep them safe from poachers and returns the hatchlings to their nests since the baby sea turtles must become acquainted with the specific chemical composition of their native beaches in Costa Rica. This allows female leatherbacks to return 20 years later and nest, provided that they survive the difficult life in the ocean.
A Perfect Memorial for Jairo
That the baby sea turtles are now in their natural habitat would have delighted Jairo. Environmental activists in Costa Rica are calling for the Gandoca-Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge to be named after Jairo. Even Paul Watson, the controversial founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and star of Animal Planet’s popular Whale Wars reality TV show, has stated that he plans to name a Sea Shepherd vessel in memory of Jairo.
These initiatives to memorialize Jairo’s life are certainly heart-warming, particularly when we remember that Paul Watson is on the run from Costa Rican authorities. However, the hatching and releasing of the baby sea turtles that Jairo gave his life to protect are the most endearing memorial to remember the selfless work of a Tico whom Paul Watson referred to as “a courageous young man.”
Hope and a Sense of Mission in Moin
Young people from the Moin community accompanied the Widecast volunteers as they released the babies. Widecast director Chacon mentioned that:
“[these young people] released the two nests with a heart full of hope, admiring Nature’s power and convinced that change is within all of us; we have the power to either protect these animals or destroy them by consuming products that cause their deaths.”
For Widecast, Jairo’s work is not over. Mr. Chacon told La Nacion that he expects to release even more baby sea turtles in the coming days.
Source: La Nacion