The hatchlings were from a nest laid on the beach on Jan 19 (see story here), confirmed Prarop Plangngarn, Chief of Phuket Marine National Park Operations Center 2.
“Our officers saw the sand above where the eggs were laid start to sink at about 7:30am. They watched and waited, and about two hours later 13 baby turtles came out from the nest and headed to the sea,” Mr Prarop explained.
“We kept monitoring the site as we knew there were more turtles coming, and 12 more baby turtles came out at about 10:30pm,” he added.
The officers continued to watch and wait, but by about midnight, concerned for the hatchlings, the officers dug the sand away from the nest, Mr Praprop said.
“They found that 47 of the eggs were infertile and that the remaining 22 eggs did not form correctly, meaning that the embryos had died.
“The unhatched eggs were taken to the Phuket Marine Biological Centre PMBC to be examined,” he added.
The high number of eggs that failed to produce offspring is a concern, as the nest that hatched on Nai Yang Beach on Tuesday last week (Mar 3) saw 79 baby turtles hatch. Of those, 43 were strong enough to be escorted into the sea and the remaining 36 were taken into care and observation. (See story here.)
Mr Prarop said that of the turtle nests laid on Phuket beaches in recent months, the nest laid on Mai Khao Beach on Feb 7 (see story here) was expected to hatch next.
“That nest is expected to hatch around April 7,” he said.