A turtle mum stunned wildlife experts when she laid an astonishing 131 eggs in a single session on a Spanish beach.
Video footage of the record birth on Les Ortigues beach in the town of Guardamar del Segura, in the south-eastern province of Alicante, in southern Valencia, shows turtle specialists and volunteers helping the mum give birth in the shallow nest she had dug, after having fitted the large animal with a GPS transmitter.
Then – understandably exhausted – the loggerhead turtle is carried back to the sea.
As she makes her way into the water, a delighted crowd cheers her on as she powers through the surf.
The turtle, which was fitted with a GPS satellite transmitter so it can be monitored by the experts, according to local Mayor Jose Luis Saez, had reportedly dug a small nest, before laying 131 eggs, a record for Valencia.
Mayor Saez also told Newsflash that the footage was recorded by a local council worker and that the turtle was deemed to be in good health after being checked by the experts before it was returned to the sea.
Loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) are listed as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.
Mayor Saez said that the incident took place on the morning of Tuesday, 26th July, adding: “A loggerhead turtle with a shell measuring 78 x 71 [centimetres], that has laid 131 eggs, was found this morning on Les Ortigues beach in Guardamar.
“An ultrasound predicts that it will continue laying eggs in approximately 15 days.
“This egg-laying event is the largest recorded in the Valencian Community.
“At 2.30pm she was returned to the sea and dubbed Katherine, in memory of a young American marine biologist who recently passed away.
“The 131 eggs have been taken to L’Oceanografic to incubate them and obtain as many hatchlings as possible.”
L’Oceanografic is an oceanarium in the city of Valencia. It is the self-proclaimed largest aquarium in Europe and can house up 45,000 living creatures from 500 different species.