An endangered turtle returned to a Maldives beach to lay its eggs – only to discover a runway had been built on the historical nesting site.
The green sea turtle, whose population is falling because of poachers hunting them for meat and egg harvesting, returned to the site of the beach in Noonu Atoll.
Female turtles return to the exact area where they were born to lay their own eggs, but instead of finding a suitable spot this turtle found only tarmac.
A source from Maafaru Island Council told local news website The Edition: ‘Despite the construction of the runway, the frequency with which turtles visit the island for nesting purposes has not decreased.’
Developers completed Maafaru Airport in August, and there are further plans for buildings in the area including a hotel and a resort.
The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, based in the UAE, funded the 7,200ft-long runway which will be able to accommodate six jets.
Local sources said the sea turtle, who may have spent years travelling back to the beach to lay her eggs, was released into the sea.
She was reportedly in good health.