Thai officers help move hundred of eggs laid by critically endangered leatherback turtle to safer place

A critically endangered leatherback turtle stunned fishermen who found it on the beach laying more than a hundred of eggs.

Locals discovered the 6ft long marine creature digging itself into a hole on the beach in Phang Nga, southern Thailand last Sunday (November 17) afternoon.

National park officers discovered leatherback turtle laying its eggs in a 2ft deep hole before crawling back to the sea.

They dug up the hole where they found109 eggs including 85 fertilized and 19 unfertilized before moving them to a safer place in the national park for fostering.

The turtle was then helped back into the ocean.

Chief officer Monkol Lewviriyakul said that it was a rewarding experience because this is the second year in a row that the leatherback turtle has laid eggs on this beach after almost 10 years of absence.

He said that leatherback turtles normally lay eggs for three to four times per spawning so the officers will keep checking back for more.

Monkol said: "The officers here including me are happy because this beach was once a place where turtles regularly laid their eggs."

"However, turtles stopped coming here for almost 10 years until last year when one came back and again today which made it two years in a row."

"I assigned officers to watch out for the turtle in case it came back to lay more eggs as it usually does, so we could collect the egg and move them to the safe place."

The leatherback turtle is the biggest species of sea turtle alive. It has been classified as critically endangered in the IUCN red list since 1970.