Turtles hit the big time on Thai shores
No less than 40 turtles have been released into the ocean today by Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation (MKMTF), in celebration of the King of Thailand’s birthday. This is the fourth annual Mai Khao turtle release which is held to raise funds for and awareness of Phuket’s endangered sea turtles.
Turtles are seen as a symbol of long-life in Asia and and it is also believed that releasing captive animals brings good luck and prosperity. The eggs were initially collected by the Royal Thai Navy and were hatched and nurtured before being released by Phuket Marine Biological Center and Sea Turtles Conservation Center, Phang Nga Naval Base. Both are partners of the MKMTF.
The release took place on the sandy shores of Mai Khao beach in front of JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa. Both JW Marriott and the Minor Hotel Group donated US$45,000 to launch MKMTF. Am Khao is one of the few beaches in Phuket that welcomes nesting turtles. Eggs are often rescued from nearby beaches and given safe haven before being released into the ocean.
Funds are raised for MKMTF by its members and partners, including JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa, Marriott Vacation Club and Anantara Hotels and Resorts.