It is that time of the year again, and in the last five days, more than four lakh Olive Ridley turtles have arrived at Gahirmatha beach in Odisha's Kendrapara for nesting. Gahirmatha beach is one of the largest breeding grounds of the endangered species.
The nesting at the beach, will continue for another week from now. Moreover, the nesting region is close to the missile test range centre at Wheeler's Island. At least 4,41,257 turtles have arrived at the beach for the purpose of laying eggs.
While the numbers are likely to go down for the next few days, the turn out is still likely to touch at least six lakh. Last year, over 6.5 lakh female turtles were at the beach for the same purpose.
Bimal Prasanna Acharya, a senior forest official, said that a net barricade of 600-metre has been set up on the beach for ensuring the safety of the turtles.
A close watch is being kept on the beach by forest officials, so as to ensure that dogs and jackals do not come into the nesting ground. Not only this, as the site is very close to the missile test range, visitors have also been prohibited from entering the area.
Image Credit: downtoearth.org