Connect with us


Two-headed turtle dies in Phang Nga



PHUKET: The two-headed Hawksbill turtle born on the Similan Islands in July died in late August at about one month of age, the Gazette has learned.

Chaloemsak Chaijit, information officer at the Royal Thai Navy base in Phang Nga, said the reptile died at about noon on August 29.

Staff at the Sea Turtle Conservation Unit there noted a lack of appetite the day before, but were nevertheless surprised at the creature’s rapid demise, he said.

When the Gazette contacted Mr Chaloemsak on August 27, the two-headed hatchling was not only healthy and gaining weight, but had also become the center’s star attraction, drawing up to fifty visitors a day.

For a PGTV video of the turtle click here.

Unfortunately the death of the baby turtle came before its gender could be established and thus be given a name, Mr Chaloemsak said.

Chadjane Chuaypetch, an officer at the conservation center, said staff there did their best to take care of the turtle, but that the nature of its abnormality was probably just too much for it to survive.

People still not aware of its passing continue to come to the center to see the turtle. They do not leave completely disappointed, however: its preserved remains are now on display in a glass jar, he said.

Survival rates among sea turtle hatchlings are notoriously low due to natural predation and man-made threats, especially the fishing industry, and the destruction of its natural habitat.

High hatchling mortality rates are factored into the species’ reproductive strategy. A healthy female can lay thousands of eggs over her lifetime, but only two of these need to survive, on average, to keep the population stable. Hawksbill turtles that do survive to adulthood can live up to 50 years of age in optimal conditions.

Unfortunately, that is not the case in the waters around Phuket. Despite efforts to increase hatchlings’ chances for survival by raising them in captivity, all sea turtle species that once nested in Phuket – once famous for its leatherback sea turtles – are now highly endangered.

Most of the sea turtles raised in captivity in Thailand are eventually released into the sea as part of dual merit-making/public awareness ceremonies on public holidays.

However, declining populations indicate the chances of survival of even these raised-in-captivity animals are almost negligible due to the threats they now face.

— Sittipong Nongkaew & S. Fein


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand4 mins ago

Woman abandons home after police ignore four burglaries

Thailand25 mins ago

VIDEO: Brave citizens save delivery driver swept away by floods in northeast Thailand

Chiang Mai37 mins ago

Chiang Mai wakes up to a flooded city district

World55 mins ago

Japanese warned to take cover over North Korea missile test

World59 mins ago

Book on Trump reveals casual racism and homophobia

Thailand2 hours ago

Thai bank releases bizarre ‘apology’ for repossessing the wrong house

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Tourism2 hours ago

Thailand wants more tourists from Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan

Thailand3 hours ago

Elon Musk angers Ukraine president with Russia tweets

World3 hours ago

Europeans arrested in Iran

Thailand3 hours ago

Thai woman charged for selling fake discount vouchers

Crime4 hours ago

Expressway killer reveals 3 month plan to murder girlfriend in remorseless confession

Thailand5 hours ago

Prayut plans to contact citizens hit by power cuts via radio

Thailand5 hours ago

Submarine purchases could sink over engine debate

Guides5 hours ago

Best IB schools in Thailand

Bangkok5 hours ago

VIDEO: Paramedics push patient through Bangkok floods on stretcher

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11