Subadh Kumar Nayak

Paradip: Hundreds of Olive Ridley turtles were found dead on the stretch of sea beach from Hanuman Temple to Sandhakuda in Paradip of Jagatsinghpur district.

Even the exact reason behind the death of the turtles is yet to be known, it is suspected that they might have died either after being hit by the fishing trawler or caught in the fishing nets.

While presence of numerous carcasses in the beach has become an opportunity for scavengers, foul smell emanating in the entire stretch of the beach has caused discomfort to locals and tourists.

“We had come here on a visit but felt sad to see so many Olive Ridley turtles dead. The concerned officials should remove the carcasses as early as possible as it is stinking and the environment is getting polluted,” said Arun, a tourist from Lucknow.

Some locals also alleged that the concerned wildlife authorities have not taken adequate steps for the safety of the endangered sea species. “Olive Ridley turtles are not safe at all here. The state government has failed to take steps for their safety or else so many of them would not have died at the same time,” said Jagabandhu Palai, a native of Paradip.

“It is very unfortunate to see that dogs and crows are feeding the dead Olive Ridley turtles as the carcasses are lying on the beach,” he added.

Some environmentalists also claimed that this is the record number of Olive Ridley turtles found dead in the State.

“Whatever may be the reason behind the death of the Olive Ridley turtles but this is the first time I witnessed a mass death to such an extent. While several carcasses are still floating on the sea water, hundreds of dead Olive Ridley turtles are seen on the beach,” said an environmentalist Pitabash Pradhan.

“Some of them might have died couple of days before as foul smell is emitting from them. However, the local administration has not taken any step to remove them and bury somewhere else due to which tourists visiting the area are not satisfied at all,” he added.

Meanwhile, Deputy Forest Ranger, Manash Das informed that two personnel have been appointed to remove the carcasses of the Olive Ridley Turtles and bury them.