Local resident Suanbin Sae-iab reported finding the turtle on the beach at 8am last Friday morning (Feb 19).
“The turtle was walking back into the sea, just 50 metres south of the leatherback turtle nest that is being protected by park officers,” Mr Suanbin said.
Sirinath National Park Chief Pramote Kaewnam explained that park officers arrived and confirmed that the turtle was an olive ridley turtle with a shell measuring about 62cm long and about 32cm wide.
“Park officers reported that they found the nest buried some 30cm deep in the sand,” Chief Pramote added.
The officers found 131 eggs intact, and one egg that had already cracked open, Chief Pramote explained.
The eggs are expected to take about 45-50 days to hatch, he said.
“The nest was too close to the water, so officers moved the eggs to be near the leatherback turtle nest so they can be protected and remain undisturbed to hatch naturally,” Chief Pramote added.
Chief Pramote said officers also expected the turtle to lay more eggs in the area soon.
“Therefore must be patrols and continued surveillance to keep an eye out for any new nests in the area,” he said.
“However, olive ridley turtles have not been found to lay their eggs in the Mai Khao beach area for over 20 years,” Chief Pramote said.