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Olive Ridley Turtles Arrive at Gahirmatha Beach in India

© AFP 2021 / ASIT KUMAR Olive Ridley Turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) return to the sea after laying their eggs in the sand at Rushikulya Beach, some 140 kilometres (88 miles) south-west of Bhubaneswar, early February 16, 2017.
Olive Ridley Turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) return to the sea after laying their eggs in the sand at Rushikulya Beach, some 140 kilometres (88 miles) south-west of Bhubaneswar, early February 16, 2017. - Sputnik International
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Forest officers in the area informed the local media that over 31,000 female turtles invaded the beach on Wednesday night.

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New Delhi (Sputnik) — Over 30,000 Olive Ridley Turtles have arrived at Gahirmatha Beach in Kendrapara in India’s southeastern state of Odisha, the world’s largest-known nesting ground of this marine species.

The nesting beaches along Nasi-1 and Nasi-2 islands close to the Missile Test Range Centre at Wheeler’s Island are teeming with thousands of female turtles, who emerged from the sea, proceeded to the sandy beaches to lay eggs and then made a seaward journey instinctively.

Forest officers in the area informed the local media that over 31,000 female turtles invaded the beach on Wednesday night. After loitering around the beach for three to four hours in search of favorable spots, they dug pits with their flippers and laid eggs.

"Thereafter, they made their seaward journey. The serene beach, crowded with these marine creatures, was a breathtaking sight”, the forest official, who was witness to the unique phenomenon, PTI quoted a forest ranger. “Their egg-laying would go on for a week,” he added.

The phenomenon is known as 'Arribada', a Spanish term describing the converging of the Olive Ridley Turtles on the nesting ground for laying eggs.

Gahirmatha beach off Bay of Bengal coast is the world’s largest-known nesting ground of these animals.

The Nasi-1 and Nasi-2 Island, in close proximity to Defense Research Development Organization’s defense installation at Wheeler’s Island, is witness to the unique phenomena of en-masse laying of eggs by these delicate marine visitors.

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