Manuel Correa, a security guard, was cycling with a friend through the highlands of Santa Cruz Island on May 19 when he spotted something strange: A Galápagos tortoise trapped inside a tubular mesh of reinforcing steel by the side of the road, struggling to get out. Not wanting to see the trapped creature suffer any longer, they stopped, and Correa used the friend’s serrated knife to cut through wires holding the steel bars in place. The freed tortoise was soon lumbering away.
Correa, a native of Loja in the Ecuadorian mainland, said the steel framework is part of a pending construction project that will provide green electrical power to Santa Cruz Island. But the incident shows how Galápagos wildlife can be negatively impacted by human endeavors, even those filled with good intentions, such as the expansion of sustainable energy.
“Let us be very careful,” said Correa, “and aware that we live in a natural world that we must always protect.”
From time to time, we’d like to recognize people in Galápagos whose actions do help protect this priceless corner of the world and the creatures that live there. From our point of view, Manuel Correa is a Galápagos Good Guy.