In Remembrance of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej 1927-2016
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AFTER 11 YEARS, AN ENDANGERED OLIVE RIDLEY TURTLE RETURNS TO RACHA YAI TO NEST

Racha Yai
September 2017

The Racha, Racha Yai, August 30th 2017
Early morning July 14th 2017, beach-cleaning staff of The Racha discovered turtle tracks on Batok Bay, fronting the resort.

As turtles are protected in Thailand, The Racha Management notified The Phuket Marine Biological Centre (PMBC). The perimeter was immediately condoned off by resort security to ensure the area remained undisturbed.

Later that day, PMBC officials confirmed the nesting site of 94 eggs and identified the turtle to be Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea). As Batok Bay receives a fair share of visitors from mainland Phuket during the day, and to protect the eggs from animal predators, it was decided that the newly
laid eggs be removed and transported to the expert care of The Racha staff.

Devan Bhaskaran, General Manager of The Racha resort explains why. “11 years ago, The Racha had an extensive Sea Turtle Hatching Program located at The Racha Dive Center. The Dive Center staff, over 10 months successfully hatched and subsequently released 55 Olive Ridley turtles into the nourishing waters of Batok Bay. These turtles had to be a minimum size of 25cm to ensure their survivability in the ocean.

It’s been 11 years and we are all so honored and delighted that one of our hatchlings has returned to us to give birth on the island where she was born. As before, we will ensure every egg gets their best start in life. The next generation of Olive Ridley turtles couldn’t be in better hands.”

The eggs meanwhile are watched over 24/7 by resort security and staff from the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR). The first eggs are expected to hatch anytime between 48-57 days, around 1st – 8th September. After which, they will remain under the care of The Racha for approximately 10 months or until they are deemed strong enough to be released into the sea to mature. During this special period, Racha guests may observe and learn about the turtle conservation process at The Water Sports Center grounds, where the turtle hatchery is located.

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