Over 60 lakh Olive ridley sea turtle hatchlings have emerged from the eggshells at the mass nesting sites of Nasi-2, in Gahirmatha Marine sanctuary.
The hatchlings from eggshells are expected to continue for some more days. The babies broke out of the eggshells and wandered around the sandy beach for nearly an hour before making their way to swirling seawater.
About 3.49 lakh of endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles this time arrived at Gahirmatha Marine sanctuary, for laying eggs within a span of two weeks from March 10 to March 24 last.
Due to multi-layering, more than 10 per cent of eggs laid were destroyed in some of the segments during the mass nesting as turtles were laying eggs on the same spot, by digging the earth with its flipper and destroying the laid eggs, where eggs were laid earlier by turtles. Predators like crows and seagulls also destroyed some eggs.
In addition to it thousands of nests were washed away due to high tide on April 28 last. The DFO said the forest personnel were asked to follow all Covid protocols while guarding the hatchlings against the predators and help them crawl into the sea.
As bright lights generally disorient the turtle hatchlings, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) at Wheeler’s Island have masked the bright light to provide a congenial atmosphere for the baby turtles to crawl into the seawater