The hatchling, which officials have yet to bestow a name, was the first known turtle to hatch on Koh Racha Island, south of Phuket, in 10 years, raising hopes of a return of turtles to Phuket and the surrounding islands. (See story here.)
However, none of the remaining eggs brought life to the embryos within, Suchart Rattanareangsri, Director of Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) Phuket branch’s Conservation Department told The Phuket News, today (Sept 14),
“Only one baby turtle hatched, that was at 2am on Sept 8, but all the other eggs failed,” Mr Suchart confirmed.
“Two other eggs looked like they were going to produce hatchlings, but they too failed,” he said.
Mr Suchart suspects that moving the eggs to a safer place on Koh Racha after the nest was found on July 14 could have played a dramatic part in the viability of the nest in producing hatchlings.
“However, we could not leave the nest where it was as it was too close to a resort and could have easily been disturbed by tourists,” he explained, noting that the experience had left him deeply saddened.
“We want to know for sure what caused the eggs to fail to hatch, and so they have been taken to the Phuket Marine Biological Centre, where experts today (Sept 14) are examining them in the hope of avoiding future disasters like this,” Mr Suchart added.