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Olive ridley turtles hatch at Mai Khao, first in 20 years

Olive ridley turtles hatch at Mai Khao, first in 20 years

PHUKET: Eight hatchlings from the first olive ridley turtle nest known to be laid on Mai Khao Beach in 20 years have hatched and been released to the sea.

By Eakkapop Thongtub

Thursday 8 April 2021, 05:04PM

The nest, found on Feb 19, contained 131 eggs intact and one egg that had already cracked open. The nest was too close to the water, so officers moved the eggs to be so they could be protected and remain undisturbed to hatch naturally

Prarop Plangngarn, Chief of Phuket Marine National Park Operation Center 2, reported that last night (Apr 7) officers monitoring the nest saw the sand above the nest sink a little, indicating that the eggs were about to hatch. 

“After 47 days of waiting, the first baby turtle climbed up from the nest at about 11pm [last night]. Then officers uncovered the nest to help the other hatchlings,” Mr Prarop said. 

“At 1am, seven more baby turtles climbed up, but their shells were not completely closed. They were taken into care in a fenced area to wait for their shells to form properly.

“At about 5:30am, the turtle’s shells were closed. they were healthy and released to the sea,” Mr Prarop said. 

“I believe that because we have had a lot of rain, the conditions under the sand were not ideal for the turtles to hatch. More baby turtles will climb up tonight,” he said. 

Haritchai Rittichuay, Chief of the Khao Lampi – Hat Thai Mueang National Park, also reported that a total of 60 baby leatherback turtles hatched on Thai Mueang Beach and made their way to the sea yesterday (Apr 7).

“The first one climbed up at about 1am and the last one surfaced at 6am. They were all strong and released to the sea,” Mr Haritchai said.

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