Endangered Turtle Returns To Beach To Lay Eggs, Finds Runway Has Been Built

by : Emily Brown on : 12 Apr 2019 15:00
Endangered turtle gives birth on runwayEndangered turtle gives birth on runway@naibuthuthu/Twitter

In today’s edition of how humans are destroying the planet; an endangered turtle laid her eggs in the middle of an airport runway, as the beach which used to be there had been built over. 


The turtle set out to give birth to her hatclings on Noonu Atoll, a division of the Maldives which is historically popular as a nesting site.

She was a green sea turtle, a species which has been listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Sea turtleSea turtlePixabay

According to the Independent, sea turtles often return to the exact same beach where they were born to lay their eggs, even if means taking a mammoth, lengthy journey to get there.


Although we can’t say whether this particular turtle had been born on the former beach, she obviously thought the location would be a good place to give birth.

However, the beach had been replaced by the 2,200m Maafaru runway, which was built last year as part of a $60 million development funded by the UAE, the Independent report.

She ended up laying the delicate eggs on the concrete, in the middle of the runway.

A picture of the depressing scene was shared on Twitter:

Local news outlet The Edition reported the turtle was released back into the ocean by locals, however a follow up tweet from the person who shared the picture claimed the endangered animal had actually died.

A shocked Twitter user responded to the picture of the turtle laying eggs, writing:


Just heartbreaking. Here’s what we get from removing environmental obstacles to development: a pregnant turtle comes up to find a runway where she once knew a nesting beach.

The person behind the photo simply replied:

She is dead.

A source from Maafaru Island Council reportedly explained the island’s developments have not deterred turtles from coming to the island to lay their eggs, saying:

Despite the construction of the runway, the frequency with which turtles visit the island for nesting purposes has not decreased.

Obviously a dangerous, concrete airport runway isn’t the ideal location to welcome baby turtles into the world. The input of humans forced the endangered animal to risk the lives of her newborns, and as a result the species’ endangered status isn’t likely to change any time soon.

If things continue like this, it won’t be long before the species become extinct altogether. We need to stop impacting on the habitats of innocent wildlife.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Animals, endangered species, maldives, Nature, sea turtle


Adam Nasym/Twitter and 2 others
  1. Adam Nasym/Twitter


  2. Independent

    Endangered turtle returns to beach to lay its eggs only to find runway has been built

  3. The Edition

    Turtle steals maiden landing on Maafaru runway