Around 1.48 crore baby Olive Ridley turtles hatched at Gahirmatha beach in Odisha, officials said. The uninhabited island was witness to a rare natural occurrence, the birth of baby turtles without their mothers.
Several pictures and videos of the baby turtles breaking out of their eggshells and making their way into the sea are now widely shared on social media.
“A total of 1.48 crore of baby turtles have broken out of eggshells to mingle in the Gahirmatha seawaters till Thursday, marking the grand culmination of the annual sojourn of Olive Ridley sea turtles to this unmanned Gahirmatha Island,” Bikash Ranjan Dash, the Divisional Forest Officer of Bhitarkanika Mangrove (Wildlife) said.
Around 2.98 lakh nests were dug by female turtles to lay eggs at the Nasi-ii Island, close to defence installation at the Wheelers’ Island, Dash said, adding that round-the-clock vigil is being maintained to ensure the safety of the newborns.
The turtles reportedly began hatching on April 25 and the process has now almost come to an end. Olive Ridley sea turtle also, commonly known as the Pacific Ridley sea turtle are the second-smallest and most abundant of all sea turtles found in the world.