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200 baby turtles born at beach in front of Banyan Tree Samui

The Thaiger

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200 baby turtles born at beach in front of Banyan Tree Samui | The Thaiger
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The birth of more than 200 green turtles has brought some much-needed joy to staff at one of Thailand’s top hotels on Koh Samui.

Between April 4 and 24, three nests hatched on the secluded beach at Banyan Tree Samui resort, and a total of around 200 baby turtles emerged under the watchful gaze of the hotel’s resident marine biologist, Thepsuda Loyjiw.

Staff at the hotel made the discovery of nests on the beach in front of the hotel early in March.

Since a giant mother turtle laid the eggs on the beach, they’ve matured in the protective custody of Loyjiw’s team and the local Department of Marine and Coastal Resources.

“It was heartwarming to watch the baby turtles being born, and then scurrying to the sea.”

“Ever since the mother turtle laid her eggs on our beach, we have been protecting them from predators such as birds and monitor lizards, and gauging the temperature of the eggs to make sure the hatchlings would be given every chance of survival.”

200 baby turtles born at beach in front of Banyan Tree Samui | News by The Thaiger

It appears that this mother turtle was in luck, because not only does Banyan Tree Samui employ a sustainability team headed by a marine biologist, but the 5-star hotel was singled out last year by global watchdog EarthCheck as meeting the highest standards for environmentalism in the country.

Watch video of turtles hatching HERE

When fully grown, green sea turtles generally weigh between 110 and 180 kilogram and measure about one metre in length. It is rare in Thailand for a giant green turtle (Chelonia mydas) to lay eggs so close to a tourist area; most seek out deserted bays in the Andaman Sea to make nests. However, since the onset of Covid-19, hotels on Koh Samui have been ordered to close, bringing the popular tropical island to a standstill.

Several recent news reports have noted that marine life and wildlife have regenerated on many of Thailand’s most popular tourist destinations since the coronavirus crisis began. Nests of rare leatherback turtles have been discovered on Phuket, and an increasing number of dugongs has been spotted close to Thai shores.

Banyan Tree Samui is located at the southeastern tip of Koh Samui in the Gulf of Thailand. The resort’s beach is sheltered in a cove, flanked by coral reefs, and isolated from the busy public beaches of Chaweng and Lamai.

SOURCE: Banyan Tree Samui Resort

200 baby turtles born at beach in front of Banyan Tree Samui | News by The Thaiger

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Pattaya

Pattaya mayor responds to video showing black water gushing into the sea next to Walking Street

Jack Burton

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Pattaya mayor responds to video showing black water gushing into the sea next to Walking Street | The Thaiger
PHOTO: We Love Pattaya

With Pattaya’s beaches reopening this week, for the first time since they were closed in March, there is still concern about what the City’s officials are pumping into the Gulf of Thailand off the Pattaya coast. Last Monday, filthy black water was seen gushing into the Gulf of Thailand right next to Pattaya’s famous Walking Street. The video, from the ‘We Love Pattaya’ Facebook page showed filthy water pouring into the sea from a pumping station near the entrance.

It seems the new Pattaya Beach Road drains are WORKING 🇹🇭🙏🇹🇭Big rain no beach road floods ❤️🤍💙

Posted by We Love Pattaya on Thursday, May 28, 2020

Pattaya’s mayor tried to explain away the video, saying it wasn’t sewage but muddy storm runoff, intentionally released into the sea rather than remain on the streets to flood homes and businesses.

“All wastewater is sent via different pipes to sewage treatment plants.”

“Usually storm runoff is channelled through filters to remove trash and debris, but in times of heavy rainfall, the system can’t keep up and water backs up and floods homes. In that case city engineers have the option to open filter gates and allow rainwater to run directly into the sea.”

He insisted the dark colour of the water was sand and sediment, and not sewage.

Pattaya mayor responds to video showing black water gushing into the sea next to Walking Street | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Thai PBS World

But in late May, tourists were warned not to swim in Pattaya, especially off the Na Chom Thian beach, after the coastal waters in the area turned black and emitted a foul smell, reportedly from untreated waste water. The Pattaya City administration issued an order temporarily suspending swimming in the sea near Pattaya until officials found the source of the effluent and fixed it.

Yesterday the scenes at Bang Saen Beach, further up the Chon Buri coast, wereteeming with people.

SOURCES: Thai PBS World

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Central Thailand

4 metre python caught after eating school’s pets

Caitlin Ashworth

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4 metre python caught after eating school’s pets | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Siamrath

Cats and chickens have been going missing at a central Thailand school for the past month or so. Turns out they ended up in the stomach of a 4 metre, 70 kilogram python. The Pranchanukul Rescue Team in Ratchaburi eventually caught the python yesterday and released into the wild, away from villages. Ratchaburi is on the Burmese border, west of Bangkok.

The janitor at the Wat Aranyikawat Temple School was trying to figure where the animals were going and kept an eye out for a potential predator. Yesterday, he saw the large reptile slither into a pond. After he reported the sighting he tried to track down the snake and found a large cat being eaten by the giant snake. It was the school’s last cat. The janitor tried to intervene, but the snake tried to attack him.

He called the experts in instead.

SOURCE: Thai Residents

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Environment

Chemical ban now in effect, farmers say they have few alternatives

Caitlin Ashworth

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Chemical ban now in effect, farmers say they have few alternatives | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Caitlin Ashworth

Thailand’s ban on 2 toxic chemicals in herbicides and pesticides, is now in effect. While the move focuses on a sustainable, eco-friendly future, farmers say they are at a loss with no alternatives to keep bugs and weeds from killing their crops.

The 2 chemicals, paraquat and chlorpyrifos, have been shown to be toxic to humans in some studies, in sufficient quantities. Paraquat is used to kill weeds on palm, rubber, sugarcane, corn and cassava plantations while chlorpyrifos is used to kill worms on fruit. The two chemicals were added to the Type 4 list on Thailand’s Hazardous Substance Act last month and the ban started on June 1. A group of Thai farmers again tried to appeal the ban last week.

“Without paraquat, Thai farmers will face losses in key crops because there are no alternatives.”

Secretary-general of the Federation of Safe Agriculture Sukan Sungwanna says that around 10 million farming households in Thailand use the chemicals.

Thailand’s deputy chief for the Department of Agriculture says they’ve prepared 16 alternatives for substitutes for the chemicals, but declined to discuss the details.

Farmers are given 90 days to return unused chemicals back to sellers. Farmers caught storing or using the chemicals after June 1 face charges of malfeasance. Those who sell, produce, import or export the chemicals can also face up to 10 years in jail and an up to 1 million baht fine.

SOURCES: Reuters | Bangkok Post

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