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No More Tourists

June 16, 1991

It was disappointing to discover this May that the unique opportunity to participate in the turtle protection program is no longer offered by the Museo de la Isla de Cozumel ("A Chance to Help Save Sea Turtles from Extinction at Mexico Island" by Chicki Mallan, April 14).

They noted that Rosalinda Jinich, the museum director mentioned in the article, is now in Mexico City. Other factors contributing to the curtailment of the program include criticism of the "tours" to see the turtles and incidents occurring in which turtles have been killed by people who followed the museum groups on the weekend trips. The program with the turtles continues, but only for the education of the children on Cozumel.

MARY L. RADER

Rancho Palos Verdes

Chicki Mallan responds: Jinich is still director of the museum ; she was only visiting Mexico City during the Rader's visit. However, Jinich confirms that the public turtle viewing program was discontinued May 9, when the new season would have started. Though it was hugely popular, a minority have ruined it by drinking on the beach, riding the turtles and taking flash photos, which prevents the turtles from coming ashore to lay their eggs.

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