Beachgoers find giant sea turtle carcass in Pattaya

Beachgoers find giant sea turtle carcass, photo by Pattaya Mail.

While there’s been a lot of happy news about turtles in Phang Nga recently, there’s unfortunately been some sad turtle news in Pattaya.

A giant sea turtle carcass washed up on Pattaya Beach on Tuesday. Beachgoers noticed the carcass and detected a foul odour in the early hours of the morning. They promptly informed the authorities of the discovery.

Officials from the Marine and Coastal Resources Research Center estimated that the turtle had been dead for several days before it washed ashore. The turtle measured between 80 to 90 centimetres wide, and 100 to 120 centimetres long. It weighed approximately 60 kilogrammes, and was estimated to be between 40 to 50 years old, Pattaya Mail reported.

The only sign of injury was a damaged back leg. To determine the cause of death, the turtle was recovered and taken for an autopsy.

Sea turtles are an important part of the ocean’s ecosystem since they help balance the food chain. Unfortunately, they are an endangered species in Thailand due to habitat loss, pollution, and poaching.

Only one in 1,000 sea turtle hatchlings is thought to make it to adulthood. Without guidance, many hatchlings die from dehydration because they don’t make it to the ocean fast enough.

In Thailand, park rangers play a crucial role in protecting sea turtle eggs and hatchlings. Rangers often move eggs they find to safer spots and help to safely guide hatchlings into the sea.

In some happier news about turtles, many turtle eggs have been spotted in Phang Nga recently.

On March 17, locals came across sea turtle eggs on Das Beach on the island of Koh Ra. The island is located in the Koh Phra-Thong sub-district of the Khura Buri district. Officials from the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources visited the beach, where they discovered a nest of sea turtle eggs buried under the sand. Officials planned to monitor the nest until the eggs hatch.

In a heartwarming event earlier this month, 165 baby hawksbill sea turtles hatched and ventured into the sea in Phang Nga. The successful hatching of the baby turtles took place at Chong Khao Kad Bay in the Mo Ko Surin National Park, where park officials released them back to their homes in the sea.

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.