Each year 80,000 olive ridley turtles flood the beaches of the Indian state of Odisha. The annual phenomenon is so impressive that it draws thousands to beaches along the Bay of Bengal to celebrate the turtle’s nesting event – ‘arribadas’ (Spanish for arrival). Judging by the pictures coming from the eastern Indian state, this year was more impressive than ever before.
With more and more humans retreating to the safety of their home following India’s nation-wide lockdown, nature is slowly reclaiming the earth one piece at a time.
Every spring, olive ridley turtles make the long way to Odisha’s beaches to lay their eggs. As opposed to previous years, this year, presumably as a result of human’s retreat, the turtles also came to lay eggs during the day, for the first time in seven years. The rare event fascinated experts, who claim that the turtles were never recorded day-nesting in these numbers.Amlan Nayak, a local government official told Mongabay-India“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,”
— Harikrishnan S (@_harikrishnan_s) March 26, 2020
According to News18 this year a staggering number of 420,000 turtles swept the beaches of Gahirmatha marine sanctuary, and 370,000 others arrived at Rushikulya Rookery, their other main nesting spot. Experts estimate that this year the turtles laid more than six million eggs on India’s beaches altogether.
The Indian department of wildlife now works to assure the offspring’s safety and patrol the beaches in an attempt to prevent illegal poaching of the turtle eggs.
We wish we could experience this wonderful display of nature’s recovery first hand, but for the meanwhile, we’ll have to make do with these stunning images.
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