Phuket resident Boonjerd Saetan informed the Marine National Park Operations Center 2 of the sea turtle traces on Mai Khao beach at around 6am, Sirinat National Park said in a Facebook post.
Officials from the Department of the Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) followed the tracks on the sand near Splash Beach Resort and found a turtle nest with 108 eggs, of which 76 were in good condition, meaning not broken and not inflated.
As the nest was in the part of the beach where it could be damaged by the surf, officials moved all the eggs to a safer area on Nai Yang Beach, near Sirinat National Park Visitors Centre. The baby turtles are expected to hatch in 50-60 days.
DMCR officials did not see the mother-turtle herself. The tracks on the sand indicated that her shell measured about 110cm wide.
The mother is believed to be a leatherback turtle, the largest of all living turtles and the heaviest non-crocodilian reptile, reaching lengths of up to 1.8 metres and weights of up to 500 kilograms.
Earlier this year three turtle nests were found in Khao Lak in Phang Nga province, just north of Phuket. The first one was discovered on Nov 17 meaning the baby turtles are to hatch in the first half of January next year.
All the three nests in Phang Nga were below the high-tide mark, so officials relocated the eggs to a safe area. The new nests were surrounded by fences for protection and are currently under 24-hour CCTV control and visual watch by DMCR personnel.
Beach patrols for more sea turtle nests continue. Officials kindly ask local residents and tourists to inform them in case of more sea turtle track on the sand or turtles themselves are spotted. The last visiting mother-turtle in Phang Nga was filmed, the video is available here.