Photo: Geografia CR

Every month, an amazing natural spectacle takes place at the Ostional Wildlife Refuge in Costa Rica.

Hundreds of olive ridley sea turtles swim ashore to lay their eggs - but this year it hasn't been so easy for them.

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Thousands of tourists have turned up on the beach to watch the famous spectacle, but many have been getting too close to the animals - posing with them to take selfies and even placing their children on the turtle's back to take a photo.

As a result, many of the turtles have retreated back to the sea without laying any eggs at all.

Photo: Geografia CR

The olive ridley sea turtles are listed as an endangered species - so nesting is crucial to their survival.

According to the Costa Rican Times, “the area is protected by guards, guides and guidelines that human visitors should respect, for the safety of the animals and to ensure they continue using this beach."

There are fears that tourists will unknowingly crush the eggs or block the turtles from getting to their nests.

Photo: Geografia CR

However, the beach was overwhelmed with the number of tourists that arrived. Only two guards and three police officers were on duty to guard the four-mile stretch.

It's such a shame to see the lives of these animals at risk. While there should be have been more guards at hand, everyone needs to be more aware of the impact their actions are having on the environment.