Over one lakh endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles have laid eggs on the beach adjoining the Rushikulya river mouth near Taratarini Hill Shrine in district Ganjam, Orissa since March 13 as scientists observed the phenomenon with interest. The eggs are expected to hatch in the first week of May, about 45 days after the mass nesting. Rushikulya river mouth is just 20km from the famous Shakti Shrine Taratarini and around 40 km from Berhampur city.
While 6,000 turtles emerged from the sea to lay eggs in the wee hours of March 13, around 65,000 swarmed the four-km long sandy beach between Gokharakuda and Kantiagada the next day. The number of nesting turtles came down thereafter.
Kartik Shanker, a turtle biologist from the Indian Institute of Science - Bangalore and Basudeb Tripathy of the Wildlife Institute of India, who are here to study the pattern of mass nesting, said the laying of eggs could continue sporadically for a few more days.