Officials at Sirinath National Park were called to Mai Khao Beach at 4pm yesterday when Mai Khao Moo 4 Village Head Winai Sae-iew reported that turtle tracks had been found on the beach by a local resident.
Sirinath National Park officers soon arrived at the beach, along with fellow park officers from Khao Lampi Hat Thai Mueang National Park in Phang Nga and marine life experts from the Phuket Marine Biological Centre (PMBC) at Cape Panwa.
Chief of Sirinat National Park, Natthawat Nuisriram, told The Phuket News that the tracks in the sand indicated that the turtle was about 160cm long and about 100cm wide.
The nest was soon found, buried some 55cm deep in the sand, he said.
Marine life experts also estimated that the nest was laid approximately two days earlier, Chief Natthawat said.
“PMBC staff did not count or move the eggs. They covered the nest properly to allow the eggs to hatch naturally,” he said.
Wildlife officers have now sectioned off the area where the nest remains and have officers assigned to ensure it remains undisturbed, he added.
Turtles returning to Phuket beaches to lay eggs have been much welcomed after years of deciding to not lay nests on beaches that were until recently constantly disturbed by tourists.
For the first time in decades, a large leatherback turtle came ashore at Kata Beach in Phuket to lay eggs in the early hours on Jan 1.