Officers from the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) were notified by local resident Somyot Saowiang, from Baan Tha Noon, at 2am yesterday (Dec 9), reporting that he had found a large leatherback turtle at Bang Kwan Beach.
Officers from the Phuket Marine National Park Operation Center 2 were dispatched to Bang Kwan Beach, where they observed the turtle until it finished laying eggs and moved to the sea.
They confirmed that the tracks of the turtle on the sand measured 210cm across and – by measuring the tracks, not the turtle to make sure it remained undisturbed – that the turtle itself measured 110cm wide.
Officers found the nest, buried 65cm deep in the sand.
The officers confirmed that the nest contained 116 fertile eggs. A further 27 eggs were confirmed to be not fertilised.
As the location of the nest was deemed to be at risk of damage by high tides, the eggs were moved to a safe location, the DMCR reported.
Officers believe that the leatherback turtle that laid the nest yesterday was the same turtle that came ashore to lay a nest about 480 metres further north on Nov 20.
The nest laid yesterday was the ninth the officers had found during the current turtle nesting season, the DMCR reported.