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A large number of nests of rare leatherback sea turtles were spotted in the now-empty beaches of Thailand amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The number, Reuters reports citing environmentalists, is the highest in two decades. Due to the pandemic, tourists are not in the vicinity of Thailand, as a result of which, beaches are absolutely empty.

Susanta Nanda of the Indian Forest Service tweeted a video of leatherback turtles with the caption, “11 leatherback turtle nests for the first time in two decades in deserted Thai beaches. The tourism has collapsed but freed up the beaches for WL. Leatherback is the largest sea turtles, endangered in Thailand. Listed as vulnerable by IUCN.”

Kongkiat Kittiwatanawong, director of the Phuket Marine Biological Center, said that the eleven turtle nests authorities found since last November were the highest in twenty years.

“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,” Kongkiat was quoted as saying by Reuters.

The internet, meanwhile, is delighted with the news and posted about it on Twitter. “It’s amazing how quickly nature can heal herself when humans don’t interfere,” a comment read.

Another user said, “See what happens when we don’t get in the way of nature.”

Leatherbacks, world’s largest sea turtles, are considered endangered in Thailand. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has listed leatherbacks as vulnerable species all across the world.

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