Day of sadness and joy: Phang Nga park officials find leatherback corpse and 92 eggs

BANGKOK: While one leatherback turtle was found dead on a Phang Nga beach, another was spotted laying as many as 92 eggs.

Attapol Charoenchansa, director-general of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, said a leatherback turtle’s carcass was spotted on a beach in the Khao Lampee-Had Thai Mueang National Park on Monday (Jan 22) morning.

The female turtle, 105cm wide and 181cm long, was found entangled in a net for catching squid, he said.

The carcass will be checked for cause of death at a marine resources centre, Attapol added.

He reckons this turtle may be among the four laying eggs on beaches inside the marine park.

The tragedy was followed by good news as park officials spotted traces of a leatherback turtle laying eggs on the Thai Mueang beach.

The patrolling officers spotted traces of 202cm-wide flippers and a 130cm-wide chest in the sand at about 11.15pm. These sizes were similar to those of a so-called “Big Mum” leatherback spotted and recorded at the beach earlier.

Officials said the turtle had dug a 72cm-deep hole and laid 135 eggs, 43 of which were found to be infertile.

The 92 fertile eggs were relocated to a more secluded part of the beach where officials can keep a better eye on them.

The eggs are expected to hatch around March 15-20.

Officials said the newest nest was the sixth to be laid inside the Khao Lampee-Had Thai Mueang National Park and the 10th to be found in Phang Nga.

Thon Thamrongnawasawat, a Kasetsat University lecturer, congratulated Phang Nga park officials on Tuesday for finding Big Mum’s new nest.

He also extended sympathy to park officials who found the corpse of the other leatherback turtle, saying this turtle may have been the one named “Thai Muang Mum”.

He said she may have been caught in the net after laying her eggs, which should hatch in about a month. He also commended the park officials for working hard to preserve leatherback turtles, which have been named a critically endangered species. - The Nation/ANN

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Thailand , turtles , dead , eggs , Phang Nga


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