Thursday, September 04, 2003

Disco Strikes Back: but at turtles?

Turtles Lured to Disco Death in Park Dilemma
Thu September 4, 2003 10:44 PM ET

LAGANAS, Greece (Reuters) - Disco lights are luring baby turtles to their deaths on the fringes of a Greek marine park in the Mediterranean Sea.

Environmentalists say that rare loggerhead turtles scramble out at night from eggs in the sand on beaches in the west Greek island of Zakynthos and instinctively head for the brightest horizon -- normally the white foam of waves under the stars.

But neon lights from discos and cafes along the back of the beach at Laganas, built for tourists who also go for boat trips in the bay to try to spot turtles, are often fatally brighter.

"Some turtles crawl up the beach the wrong way and die of dehydration or get eaten by seabirds or dogs," said Anders Kofoed, a Danish volunteer working for the Greek conservation group Archelon. "The park isn't working properly."

Over the years disco has received much criticism and many negative associations, but this may be the harshest yet.

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