This year’s first Olive Ridley turtle arrived at the Anjarle beach in Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri district last week and laid eggs, heralding the start of the breeding season for the gentle amphibians, an activist said on Monday.
“Our volunteers learnt about this happy development and on Monday morning we shifted 119 eggs from the natural nests to a nearby hatchery,” Vishwas Katdare, head of Sahyadri Nisarg Mitra (SNM), an organisation working for turtle conservation, said.
The eggs are expected to start hatching in the next seven to eight weeks, he said. Katdare said the turtles start arriving in coastal Maharashtra for breeding as soon as the temperatures dip. The arrival of the turtles also marks the start of the SNM’s annual Turtle Festival in February in Velas, one of the selected beaches.
“This season (2012-13), we have decided to hold the Turtle Festival in four different beaches of the Konkan region," Katdare said.
The festival will be organised at Velas beach, followed by Harihareshwar, Maral and Diveagar beaches.