Baby turtles brake out of their eggshells in Odisha

Kendrapara: Millions of baby turtles have broken out of their eggshells and crawled towards the serene seawaters off Gahirmatha coast in State’s Kendrapara district, marking the culmination of annual sojourn of endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles since last week.

Hatchlings crawled towards their seaward journey in the nesting grounds at Nasi-2 Island. The nesting beach is littered with baby turtles.

The whole of Nasi-2 Island are teeming with baby turtles and the wildlife officials of Bhitarkanika national park stationed at these nesting grounds were sole witness to this unique natural heritage involving the birth of babies sans mother, a forest department official said.

Tourists and researchers were denied entry to savour the unique natural heritage keeping in view the fact that the unmanned islands is located in close vicinity of Wheeler’s island defence test range centre, a prohibited territory.

“The emergence of hatchlings from egg shells is expected to continue for at least for a week. The one-km beach is virtually littered with newly born hatchlings.

“The babies were literally jostling for space on the beach to loiter around before their final plunge into the seawater,” said Bimal Prasana Acharya, Divisional Forest Officer, Rajnagar Mangrove (wildlife) Forest Division.

The babies broke out of the shackles of eggshells and wandered aimlessly around the sandy beach for nearly an hour before making their way to swirling seawater, narrated an awe-struck wildlife staff.

The babies broke out of the shackles of eggshells and wandered aimlessly around the sandy beach for nearly an hour before making their way to swirling seawater, narrated an awe-struck wildlife staff.

Nearly two million hatchlings have emerged out of pits till yesterday. The process of turtle birth is expected to continue for few more days, he said.

The nesting beaches at the idyllic islands free from human interference also happen to be the most congenial and conducive spots for turtles’ mass nesting. But of late these beaches are undergoing sea erosion, adversely affecting the ideal turtle habitat.