PHUKET: An adult Ridley sea turtle, tangled up in a discarded fishing net, washed onto Karon Beach alive, but injured, yesterday afternoon.
The female turtle, weighing about 40 kilograms was spotted by a tourist on the beach. A lifeguard, alerted to the situation, contacted the Phuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC) Endangered Species Unit.
“The turtle was washed ashore with a big heap of fishing net,” said Karon Beach lifeguard Chatree Promnoon.
“Both of the turtle’s front flippers were cut and stuck in the fishing net. After the turtle was washed ashore, we helped her by cutting them free,” he said.
While waiting for the PMBC officers to arrive, the lifeguards and tourists did their best to make the injured turtle comfortable by digging a hole in the sand and filling it with seawater.
“At this time of year, turtles stay close to shore to mate. Afterward, they will come up onto the beach to lay their eggs,” Dr Kongkiat Kittiwattanawong, who heads the PMBC’s Endangered Species Unit, explained to the Phuket Gazette.
“Luckily, the cuts from the fishing net were not too deep. I’m confident she will have a full recovery,” he added.
— Kritsada Mueanhawong
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