A nest of sea turtle eggs was destroyed by vandals Sunday in Chuburna Puerto. Photo: Yucatan Ahora

Sea turtle eggs on a beach at Chuburná Puerto were found trampled, crushed and then burned in a bonfire, local media reported.

The destroyed turtle nest was near the site of a violent spat that erupted when two environmentalists confronted a group of litterers. Every year, during the turtles’ nesting season, efforts to protect nesting areas prove difficult as visitors drive trucks and ATVs or even loot the nests.

The remains of the nest were discovered Monday when cinder blocks and ashes were discovered where the eggs were buried. The area had been marked as a hawksbill turtle nesting site, which was a total loss.

The hawksbill turtle is an endangered species, and constantly under threat by looters who see a market for its eggs.

When they spawn, each turtle can lay 120 eggs, so one damaged nest can mean the loss of at least that many embryos.

Source: Yucatan Ahora