Colleagues and guests of Golden Sands Resort witnessed Mother Nature’s bounty first hand on Monday, 17 August, 2015 when a female green turtle laid 140 eggs at the beach front of Golden Sands Resort, Penang.
This was the first incident of a female turtle laying eggs along the popular tourist belt of Batu Feringgi Beach in twenty years.
The resort was running almost full occupancy when the female green turtle, which was hatched at the exact spot on Batu Feringgi Beach, made its way up the beach and made a dry nest and a primary nest or “clutch” about 2 meters away. The female turtle had surfaced at about 5am on Monday morning and made a dry nest to trick scavengers. She then proceeded to lay 140 eggs in the primary nest.
The resort colleagues were alerted by a dog’s yelping and went over to the beach area to investigate. Golden Sands Resort’s security team member, Azmin Afu Hasan, went to the shoreline to see what was bothering the dog. He then saw the female turtle and managed to capture the egg laying session on video before the turtle returned to sea. Azmin described the incident “It was so big! The head was as large as a watermelon and I saw the turtle shed tears when laying its eggs”.
Golden Sands Resort’s Director of Communications, Suleiman Tunku Abdul Rahman, reported the fresh turtle nest to Fisheries Officer, Mohd Syahrulnizam Ismail, who arrived at 11am with two team members. The eggs were collected by the officers who then took the eggs over to the Pantai Kerachut Turtle Sanctuary at the Northern edge of Penang island for incubation and hatching. The baby hatchlings will then be released into the local waters.
Green turtles have a life span of around 80 years old and can weigh up to 700 pounds (317.5 Kg). Adult green turtles are herbivorous and eat mainly algae and sea grasses. Female turtles instinctively return to the beach where they were hatched to lay their eggs. A normal nest or “clutch” will contain up to 100 to 200 eggs. The green turtle will leave the eggs after hatching them and baby hatchlings will emerge after two months. Green turtles are one of the two species that are commonly found along the local waters of Penang and its surrounding areas. The other common turtle species is the Olive Ridley turtle.