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Turtle release at Maya Bay to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the Tsunami

The Thaiger

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Turtle release at Maya Bay to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the Tsunami | The Thaiger
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by Robb, Five Star Thailand Tours

Koh Phi Phi Leh’s most famous tourist attraction, Maya Bay has been a controversial topic in recent years. The bay remains closed. However, tourists are still able to visit the National Park to swim and snorkel along the outskirts of the bay. A rope strung across the bay prevents visitors from going inside the bay and getting close to the beach.

The information published about Maya Bay and Koh Phi Phi in the media in recent years has been somewhat negative. And while I don’t feel that Maya Bay should be opened anytime soon, it would be great for people to know that positive changes are showing and the bay is beginning to recover. There is a lot of hard work being put into the projects by local people, and I believe these positive stories should be known.

The operations were planned out and executed by a local boat owner (the Phi Phi Pirate Boat), and the date was set to commemorate the anniversary of the 2004 Tsunami, December 26.

Nine Hawksbill Sea Turtles were transported from an aquarium in Phuket on Christmas Day – the sea Turtles are of an endangered species and had been raised in captivity.

The turtles spent the night in a tank on the main island of Koh Phi Phi Don. And on the morning of the 26th, the turtles were ready to be released back into the wild, transported onto the Phi Phi Pirate Boat (which took a day out of service as a tour boat for the day’s events) and left from Tonsai Pier on Koh Phi Phi Don. There were around 20 passengers on the tour boat, including a local scuba team.

A plaque to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the Tsunami was carried on the boat, and the local scuba team planted it on the sea-bed just off the coast of Tonsai Bay, before heading to Maya Bay.

The operations were coordinated in advance with the Department of National Parks who show a fantastic passion for the preservation of the beaches and natural areas of the region. The boat was escorted into Maya Bay by the DNP’s patrol boat, and the bucket containing the turtles was floated into the sea. We were instructed to use kayaks to get closer to the beach area of the closed Bay.

Our visit to Maya Bay (and having visited many times before while the beach was open) shows immediate and positive changes on the beach. It now looks like a completely different bay to how I remembered from previous visits and mother nature is slowly reclaiming the ecology. There is so much greenery growing which was never given a chance to show before; it’s honestly amazing to see the amount of effort that has gone into the rehabilitation and to see all the hard work paying off.

While improvements are showing in the bay, it’s nowhere near ready to be opened to tourism. And personally, I don’t think it should be. I would like to see the bay returned to a natural state but seemingly three years is not enough time for that to happen.

Due to the high tides on the day, the decision was made that it would be more suitable to release the turtles on a smaller beach to the side of the main beach. So after a brief stop at Maya Bay, the buckets containing the turtles and the kayaks set off to the smaller beach, where it would be easier to monitor the turtles when they returned to the sea.

The turtles were successfully released into the bay- and Koh Phi Phi Leh now has nine new inhabitants in its recovering wild.

Robb, Five Star Thailand Tours

Turtle release at Maya Bay to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the Tsunami | News by The ThaigerTurtle release at Maya Bay to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the Tsunami | News by The ThaigerTurtle release at Maya Bay to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the Tsunami | News by The ThaigerTurtle release at Maya Bay to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the Tsunami | News by The Thaiger

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32 year old British patient recovering in Phuket, suspected Coronavirus victim

The Thaiger

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32 year old British patient recovering in Phuket, suspected Coronavirus victim | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Ash Shorley remains in critical condition in a Phuket Hospital - Go Fund Me

UPDATE HERE.

A British tourist is reported to be fighting for his life in a Phuket hospital. He could be the first Western victim of the coronavirus strain sweeping through China, according to Doctors at the hospital, but is yet to be confirmed. This latest coronavirus, related to the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) viruses, is new and was first discovered in the Chinese city of Wuhan last month.

32 year old Ash Shorley remains in critical condition in a Phuket hospital after being infected with a virus while visiting Koh Phi Phi, in the Krabi province. He has been in hospital for nearly a month. His parents, Chris and Julie, who live in Lancashire, are now in Phuket whilst tests are being processed to determine the virus that has attacked Mr Shorley. His parents report that Ash has lost 52 kilograms since contracting the mystery disease.

“He was two days from death. If he wasn’t so fit, he wouldn’t be with us now. We are now waiting on tests. It is very serious.” – Ash Shorley’s father.

Ash was transported to Phuket by seaplane because “his lung had collapsed”, according to the Daily Mail Online. Phuket doctors claim his symptoms are consistent with the Chinese coronavirus but a confirmation on their suspicions is yet to emerge. Experts, speaking to Daily Mail Online, say Mr Shorley’s symptoms are consistent with the new Chinese coronavirus, but could also be a sign of other respiratory infections, as yet, undetermined.

The mysterious SARS-like virus has so far killed 3 and infected up to 220 confirmed (as of Tuesday) cases, although estimates by the WHO speculate that there are as many as 1,700 cases in Wuhan, central China, since December.

The virus is now confirmed to have spread to other parts of China – 5 cases in Beijing, 14 in Shenzhen and one in a province adjacent to Shanghai. Four other confirmed cases have been reported in Thailand, Japan, and South Korea.

The spike in reported cases comes as millions of Chinese are packing their bags to travel overseas for the Chinese New Year holiday. Meanwhile, a spokesperson from the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs maintains the country has “stuck to a serious, earnest and professional attitude” to prevent and control any further outbreak of the disease.

SOURCE: Daily Mail Online

32 year old British patient recovering in Phuket, suspected Coronavirus victim | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Instagram32 year old British patient recovering in Phuket, suspected Coronavirus victim | News by The Thaiger

GRAPHIC: Daily Mail Online

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North eastern villagers protest fishy smells from seafood factory wastewater

Greeley Pulitzer

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North eastern villagers protest fishy smells from seafood factory wastewater | The Thaiger
PHOTO: A man inspects a public drain in Khon Kaen - INN News

Villagers in the northern Khon Kaen province are complaining of a seafood “factory” that has been dumping foul smelling wastewater into public drains. Hundreds gathered in the Mueang Kao subdistrict’s Sirirat Village to plea for help from local agencies. The smelly black water spills out from the drains, stinking up homes, and has even travelled into locals fields. Thousands of villagers are complaining that they’re affected by the smell and the flies it attracts.

Many locals were seen wearing medical masks and pointing to the source of the wastewater, a home that’s been converted into a seafood factory which has been dumping wastewater, polluting the water in the area.

One villager told local media the problems started last October, when the owner changed his home into a seafood factory. Locals don’t know what’s being used to wash the seafood but the wastewater is dumped into the public drain, which travels throughout the village, giving homes in the area a common ‘rotting fishy’ smell from the sewer. Many villagers say they have to wear masks 24/7 because the smell is so bad they’re afraid that it will affect their health (not that the masks will do anything to help).

70 year old “Dahm,” the factory’s owner, admits it’s the source of the smelly wastewater. He says his family makes squid and chicken feet products for restaurants and stores in Khon Kaen. The water used used to wash the squid is dumped directly into the public drain. Dahm claims he didn’t realise the water was causing so much trouble for the villagers.

“When I realised the villagers were suffering from the water I stopped washing squid for about 2 weeks now.

“Instead, I order squid and chicken feet that have already been treated, and repackage the products before delivering them to the buyers. My daughter has sent a request to build a wastewater treatment tank to the Ministry of Public Health.”

SOURCE: Thai Residents

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The year’s first leatherback turtle hatchling emerges in Phang Nga

The Thaiger

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The year’s first leatherback turtle hatchling emerges in Phang Nga | The Thaiger
PHOTO: The year's first baby turtle. More on the way from the same nest - Thai PBS World

Officials from the coastal National Park in Phang Nga, southern Thailand, are delighted after the first leatherback turtle hatchling hatched and emerged from the nest. Whilst it was headed to the Andaman Sea, marine officials took it to a nursery to be raised, giving it a much higher chance of survival when it is eventually released to the sea. According to the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources, the baby turtle was spotted climbing out of its nest this morning just after 6am.

Park officials have been keeping an eye on the nest with CCTV and expect more baby turtles to emerge today and the next few days.

104 leatherback turtle eggs were found at the nest on the Phang Nga beach outside the territory of the national park in November last year. 85 of them proved to be healthy and viable and were taken to another nest within the park’s territory to prevent them from being stolen by poachers

The Phang Nga Office of Marine and Coastal Resources was informed by villagers that they had found a turtle nest, believed to be that of a leatherback, at Bo Dan beach. Marine officials went to check and but left the eggs at the location, confident that the nest was safe enough.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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