Saswat Singhdeo

Puri: Mass nesting of endangered Olive Ridley turtles has begun at the mouth of Keluni River in Astaranga of Puri. The Forest department officials have already collected around 136 eggs and kept it at a temporary incubation centre.

The officials have dug pits near the incubation centre to store the eggs for 40 to 45 days till they are hatched. Later, the hatchings will be released into the sea, officials informed.

In order to ensure safe nesting, the Forest department has banned fishing in the area from Devi river mouth to Baliharachandi river mouth.  Moreover, the movement of trawlers has also been banned in the area.

Last month, mass nesting of the Olive Ridley turtles had begun at Gahirmatha marine sanctuary in Kendrapara following which the forest department deployed 34 officials and engaged speed boats to guard the turtles there.