Turtle lovers gathered at the Rushikulya beach in India’s eastern Odisha state on Saturday to witness the annual nocturnal mass nesting of Olive Ridley turtles.
Turtles crawled ashore from the Bay of Bengal to lay eggs at the 2.5-km long Rushikulya River mouth between Kantiagada and Gokharkuda villages in the Ganjam district.
The turtles usually visit the coasts for nesting from January to April in India, and every year, the Rushikulya Sea Turtle Protection Committee spends four to five months preparing a clean and safe beach for the nesting.
“When we started our conservation work in 1994 only 30,000 to 40,000 turtles used to come here for nesting,” said Secretary of Rushikulya Sea Turtle Protection Committee, Rabindranath Sahubut.
“Now their number has increased to between 300,000 and 400,000.”
© 2018 Reuters