Witness nature’s intimate encounter. Be mesmerised by the sight of sea turtles lumbering slowly up the white sandy beaches to lay eggs, especially during peak season from May to September. Rantau Abang beach in Terengganu is one of the only six places in the world where giant leatherback turtles come ashore in droves to lay eggs.
In fact, four marine turtles – the Leatherback, Green, Hawksbill, and Olive Ridley turtles have chosen Malaysia to lay their eggs. Known to swim great distances for nesting, these gentle creatures have been dwindling in numbers, with some of them on the brink of extinction.
So to be able to watch them laying eggs is truly a fascinating experience. The turtle eggs from the size of a ping pong to tennis ball has spawned a collecting frenzy, treating them like buried treasure, because of the good prices fetched in the local markets. Waiting for the right moment, female turtles try to sneak ashore without being detected, but since leatherback and green turtles weigh up to 500 and 100 kilogrammes, respectively, their chances are slim. The turtles can grow up to 2.5 metres long.
Besides Rantau Abang, other areas for turtle watching include Sipadan island in Sabah, Turtle Bay on Pangkor Island and Tanjung Jara Beach in Terengganu. The area’s warm grainy sands and favourable beach slope make nesting easy for the lumbering creatures.
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