Sea turtles are famous for returning to the exact spot they were born to lay their eggs. That’s exactly what this green sea turtle tried to do on Tuesday, only to find her beachy home had been turned into a runway.
The runway in question is located on Maafaru, which is part of the Noonu Atoll islands in the Maldives. Measuring 2,200 meters, or 1.3 miles, the strip is part of the still-under-construction Maafaru International Airport, which is slated to begin operations in May or June.
Still, this poor turtle mama had no inkling of the capitalist dreams of the humans who inhabit her birthplace. But you know who did? The humans. According to The Edition, a local Maldives paper, Maafaru has long been known among locals to be a popular nesting ground for hundreds of turtles.
The paper cites a source from the Maafaru Island Council as saying, “Despite the construction of the runway, the frequency with which turtles visit the island for nesting purposes has not decreased.”
Just look at those sad eggs, possibly roasting in the Maldives sun on hot tarmac. Look at the labored skid marks from mama turt’s flippers as she dragged herself to complete a lengthy journey fueled by maternal turtle love. Look at what human greed hath wrought upon our fellow creatures and the loss of their habitats.
The Independent reports locals as saying the turtle was spotted back in the ocean and in good health. But humans don’t know what turtles think, and it’s impossible to verify whether mama turtle was forever scarred by the experience. The fate of the mislaid eggs is also currently unclear.