For most sea turtles, crawling onto the beach at night to lay eggs is a risky proposition. Out of the water, they are achingly slow, ungainly . . . and vulnerable. But in tourist meccas where hotel sprawl has rendered the coastline a virtual Monopoly board of development with 24/7 hubbub, the annual trek onto the sand becomes all the more treacherous.
Tourists, cameras in hand, camp out for a look at these massive tortugas, or worse, try to pet them or pose for pictures with them. Scaring easily, the turtles routinely return to the ocean without depositing their eggs, only to exert themselves on another night. This is called a “false crawl.”