A critically endangered turtle emerged from the sea to lay at least 80 eggs on a Thai beach. This is another sign of how wildlife is thriving during the coronavirus pandemic with little human movement.
The hawksbill sea turtle chose a beach on Koh Samui, an island typically visited by several million people each year, and was tracked by veterinarians thanks to an implanted digital chip.
National park and wildlife conservation staff were on the spot to collect a blood sample and check the health of the turtle, which they estimated to be about 30 years old.
The hawksbill’s numbers have reduced significantly because of the trade in its shells, which is now illegal.
But 2020 has been a good year for turtles in Thailand, which has recorded the largest number of nests of rare sea turtles in two decades, found on beaches empty of tourists.
The country was visited by nearly 40 million people in 2019. This year, they expect about 14 million due to the impact of the coronavirus on global travel.
Local conservationists said that on Koh Samui alone, turtles had laid eggs on more than a dozen occasions over the past four months.