Two security guards at Angsana Laguna Phuket resort, Kasama Moonmee and Jinnawat Juntong-on, were patrolling the beach around the resort when they spotted what they initially thought was a children’s doll on the foreshore.
As they got closer, they realised it was a turtle so they pulled it out onto the sand before realising it was dead.
The men called their supervisor, who then contacted marine officials upon seeing the dead turtle.
The turtle was taken away to determine the cause of death.
It is believed to be an olive ridley sea turtle (Tao Ya). It weighed 30kg and was 70cm long. It was found with wounds on its head and shell, possibly from contact with rocks in the sea, officials reported.
The olive ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea), also known as the Pacific ridley sea turtle, is the second smallest and most abundant of all sea turtles found in the world, living in warm and tropical waters.
These turtles, along with the related Kemps ridley turtle, are best known for their unique mass nesting, called arribada, where thousands of females come together on the same beach to lay eggs.
Most observations are typically within 15km of mainland shores in protected, relatively shallow marine waters (22–55m deep).
The olive ridley is predominantly carnivorous, especially in immature stages of the lifecycle. Common prey items include jellyfish, sea urchins, snails, shrimp, crabs and rock lobsters. Adults have relatively few known predators other than sharks and the occasional killer whale.