First sighting in 20 yrs, 80 Olive Ridley turtles hatch on Versova beach
While cleaning up the Versova beach in Mumbai, a team of volunteers came across 80 Olive Ridley hatchlings on the sand. The volunteers immediately sought help from forest officials to ensure the turtles walk back into the sea safely.
Afroz Shah, the man behind the Versova beach clean-up initiative, was also present when the volunteers came across the turtle hatchlings. The last sighting of these turtles was nearly 20 years back, and he tweeted about the same.
According to the Hindustan Times, the additional principal chief conservator of forests, N. Vasudevan, said,
There is no further cause for doubt about the authenticity of this wonderful event. We can confirm that Versova is a turtle nesting site as we have uncovered the egg shells. It is a truly inspiring discovery.
I witnessed something surreal. A life changing experience. Eighty Olive Ridley turtles walked into the sea.
According to forest officials, there is a probability that adult female turtles come back to the place where they were born to nest. It is said that the turtles are comfortable nesting at a place which they consider safe and secure. On several occasions, forest officials have spotted nesting of turtles in Maharashtra.
The forest officials are excited that the Olive Ridley turtles came to their beach to nest and hatch, and even more because they facilitated the turtles’ smooth passage to the sea.
The sighting of Olive Ridley turtles has grabbed everyone’s attention- from politicians to environmentalists. These turtles are also called as the Pacific Ridley, and are medium-sized which are found mostly in tropical and warm waters.