Mexico’s environmental protection agency is investigating stingray mutilation in Sonora

Published: Thursday, April 13, 2023 - 2:46pm
Updated: Friday, April 14, 2023 - 7:35am
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Environmental officials say leaders in a Sonoran coastal town could face criminal charges after removing the spines from stingrays to protect beachgoers.

Mexico’s environmental protection prosecutor (PROFEPA) is investigating the Sonoran town of Huatabampo after its employees tore spines from as many as 2,000 stingrays.

The city’s ecology coordinator — who has been fired — allegedly implemented the plan to prevent visitors during the busy Easter holidays from being stung. But videos of the stringrays' spines being ripped out by hand caused national outcry.

"What world do they live in," said Sonoran Gov. Alfonso Durazo, in response to the incident, which he called "barbaric" and "caveman-like." He said it mars the reputation of a state that has been working to for years to promote the well-being of animals and the environment.

Federal officials say they inspected the beach in Huatabampo after complaints and found dozens of stingrays dead on the beach with their spines removed. However, the of those deaths cause is still unknown. Officials are still deciding whether to press criminal charges in the case.

Fronteras Sonora EnvironmentLaw Enforcement