Forest dept on toes to protect Olive Ridley eggs at Devi mouth

Konark: The Olive Ridley sea turtles have ultimately laid eggs at Devi confluence in Puri district, though almost after a delay of two months,  bringing cheers for the environmentalists and turtle lovers.

“No turtles laid egg till now in Puri district, but we have traced some eggs at Kanrpur area near Devi mouth today. We stored them carefully in the hatchery,” Konark forest officer Prafulla Mohanty said.

The forest department and some voluntary organisations have geared up for safety of the endangered species from the clutches of poachers and fishermen for which the officials with the help of social workers are found burying the eggs under sand.

The hatchels will be emerged after 45 days of the nesting and later the new born turtles would be released into the sea for which temporary camps are made at different places on the beach, a forest official said.

“Every year we make temporary camps here for the security of turtles. This year we camped here almost two months back and our officials are patrolling regularly for the protection of the sea animals,” Kanrpur forester Pradip Panigrahi said.

While mass nesting of the marine creatures has delayed this year, the forest department has tried hard to protect the sporadic nesting along the sea beach.

Sources said over 55,000 eggs were collected between November 2011 and May 2012 at Devi and Banki confluence and the new born baby turtles were released into the sea later by the forest officials. But this year, the turtles started laying eggs almost two months late.