Video Shows Over 20 Million Baby Turtles Crawling To The Sea For The First Time

A footage that was shared on Twitter by an Indian Forest Service Officer shows over 300,000 turtles crawling to the sea for the first time.

The video shows the olive ridley sea turtles making their first crawl to the sea.

The incident happened on a deserted beach in Odisha, which is located in the Eastern part of India.

Susana Nanda, a forest service officer, shared the video with the caption of:

A sight that casts magical spell year after year. Nearly 2 crore plus [20 million] olive ridley hatchlings have emerged & made their way to sea from half of about 4 lakh [400,000] nesting at Nasi-2 islands, Gahirmatha rookery Odisha. The spectacle continues. Early morning video.

In March, the species, which is listed as vulnerable, nested in the area during daylight hours for the first time since 2013.

This happened because of the coronavirus pandemic, which left almost every person in the country forced to stay inside their houses.

Amlan Nayak, a district forest officer for Berhampur, Odisha, said:

The last time we saw day time nesting of olive ridleys along this site was in 2013. Usually, they come on to the beach for nesting only during the night. This March was special for us as we saw the species visiting the site at night and even during the day, in equally good numbers.

S.N. Patro, the president of the Orissa Environment Society, talked about the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on the nesting activities of the turtles.

Patro said:

I do not think the lockdown period can have any impact on the nesting activities of the olive ridley turtles.  But what the lockdown can do is that it can reduce the casualties of the sea turtles or the damages their eggs undergo in normal days. However, in the absence of human movements, pest attacks and attacks from other animals, can increase as well. They [turtles] are quite confident. The village communities in Rushikulya have known of arribadas [the term for mass nesting, taken from the Spanish word for ‘arrival’] of olive ridley turtles since time immemorial. The turtles want a clean and dry beach. They have to feel safe. Since September 2019 efforts were on to clean the beach. Due to the debris deposited on the beach following cyclone Titli.

Hundreds of baby turtles reportedly died after they accidentally got trapped in fishing nets.

The good news is that their numbers are going to rise!

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