VSPCA releases 6,296 Olive Ridley hatchlings into sea
These young nature-lovers were accompanying the staff of Sea Turtle Conservation (STC) helping them search the eggs of Olive Ridley turtles that hatch on the shores of Visakhapatnam every year.
Visakhapatnam: It was just before daybreak when few youngsters were spotted searching for something at the Jodugulla Palem beach. These young nature-lovers were accompanying the staff of Sea Turtle Conservation (STC) helping them search the eggs of Olive Ridley turtles that hatch on the shores of Visakhapatnam every year.
The volunteers go on a search-spree to relocate the eggs of these turtles by following their footprints. The eggs were then carefully taken out by the STC members from the sand-filled pits dug up by the mother turtles. The eggs are then safely stored in the sand at five hatcheries developed by Andhra Pradesh Forest Department along with Visakha Society for Protection and Care of Animals (VSPCA) and NTPC.
It was the first time for most volunteers who participated in the conservation programme. S Vijay, a social sciences student, said, "We follow the footprints of the turtle and try to relocate the eggs. It is an exciting sight to watch these eggs and hatchlings. I am delighted that I located a nest earlier in February and now after the hatchlings are released, I feel proud that I could do my bit to conserve the species."
While few volunteers help in finding the nests, others help in driving away sea turtle predators like crows and eagles when the hatchlings are released into the sea. With the support from nearly 30 volunteers, as many as 6,296 hatchlings were released this year so far, even though the season for nesting will go on for a while.