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Turtle eggs laid at Sai Khu

PHUKET: Marine experts have yet to determine what type of turtle eggs were laid on the beach at Ao Sai Khu, near Nai Yang Beach, early yesterday morning (Mar 13).

By The Phuket News

Tuesday 14 March 2023, 10:57AM

Officers at Sirinat National Park received a call from local resident Kriangkrai Dejom, from Srisoonthorn, at 6am, informing them that he had just witnessed a turtle laying eggs on the beach, located in Moo 2 Sakhu.

National Park officers arrived to have Mr Kriangkrai direct them to the turtle nest.

Mr Kriangkrai said he first saw the turtle make its way up the beach at about 5am. The turtle laid the eggs, covered the nest, then made its way back into the sea.

Mr Kriangkrai was unable to identify which species of turtle had laid the eggs, and was unable to describe the turtle in sufficient detail for park officers to make an educated guess.

Park officers noted that the tracks left in the sand indicated that the turtle measured some 70 centimetres across with a fin-span of 1.06 metres.

The eggs were left in the nest some 50-70cm deep in the sand, officers noted. There were 107 turtle eggs in total, with all of them appearing to be capable of producing offspring, officers said.

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As the nest was at risk of being flooded during high tide, the officers carefully removed the eggs and transported them to a safe site on Nai Yang Beach near the national park’s visitor’s centre.

The eggs will be protected at the safe site and monitored by park officers until they hatch and the baby turtles make their way to the sea, officers said.

Sai Khu Beach is already known as a location for turtles to lay their eggs. In 2020, a leatherback turtle laid 123 eggs at the beach, which were also taken into care until they hatched.

The report of the nest found yesterday did not mention whether or not a reward was still being offered for reporting any turtle nests discovered.

At last report in 2021, two people who reported a leatherback nest and a ridley turtle nest on Mai Khao Beach each received B20,000 for reporting the nests. The money was handed over at a small ceremony led by Thalang District Chief Suwit Suriyawong.

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