Deserted Thai Beaches See Most Turtles Nesting In 20 Years
Thailand's beaches, which have been empty since lockdown restrictions came into place, have seen the largest increase in nests of rare sea turtles in 20 years.
As the country's famously incredible beaches lie empty due to the coronavirus pandemic, leatherback sea turtles have begun to lay their eggs on the beaches again.
Attracting more than 30 million tourists each year, Thailand has put in travel bans in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus, which means that while tourist numbers have decreased dramatically, the beaches have been left empty for nature to take over again.
Since November last year, authorities have found 11 turtle nests - the highest number in 20 years. None had been found in the previous five.
Kongkiat Kittiwatanawong, the director of the Phuket Marine Biological Center, told Reuters: "This is a very good sign for us because many areas for spawning have been destroyed by humans.
"If we compare to the year before, we didn't have this many spawn, because turtles have a high risk of getting killed by fishing gear and humans disturbing the beach."
And it's not just in Thailand that sea turtles are said to be thriving thanks to a lack of people flooding beaches and waterways during hot weather.
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Loggerhead Marinelife Center senior manager of research Sarah Hirsch told WPEC leatherback turtles are expected to do really well this year.
She added: "We're excited to see our turtles thrive in this environment. Our world has changed, but these turtles have been doing this for millions of years and it's just reassuring and gives us hope that the world is still going on."
Although the coronavirus outbreak has caused unspeakable damage to many areas of human life, it's really highlighted the effect we've had on nature - as well as how quickly the natural world could repair itself if it was given the chance.
The animals had ventured into a housing estate in Harold Hill, where they were seen chilling on various patches of grass.
The deer are believed to have come from nearby Dagnam Park, which is just across the road from the estate - having been in the area for more than 1,000 years.
If anything good can come out of these strange times we're living through, a re-evaluation of the effect we have on the world we live in would be a place to start.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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