Thieves steal eggs from rare leatherback turtle nest in Phang-nga

Photo from Facebook Thon Thamrongnawasawat

Late Friday night or early this morning, thieves stole most of the eggs from the nest of a rare leatherback turtle, which had come ashore in Khao Lampi-Hat Thai Muang national park in Thailand’s southern coastal province of Phang-nga to lay.

Thon Thamrongnawasawat, a well-known marine scientist and chair of a working committee on rare marine species, said in his Facebook post today that he was very angry about the theft because it means the loss of the rare turtles, which should have hatched in the national park.

He said that park officials searched the beach from 4.30am to 9.30am today and found traces of a female leatherback, but could not locate the turtle and discovered a nest containing only two unviable eggs.

Thon said he did not blame the park officials, noting that the beach is about 20 kilometres long and there was no way for them to know where the turtle would lay its eggs.

Since the leatherback turtle is a protected species, he said that the Wildlife Protection Act imposes 3-15 years imprisonment and a fine of between 300,000-1.5 million baht for the theft and/or illegal possession of turtle eggs.

Thon disclosed that, since last year, leatherback turtles came ashore to nest twice, each time laying about 50 eggs.


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