- Beautiful video footage has been shared of baby turtles scurrying across the sand of a deserted Indian beach to the sea.
- For the first time in seven years, olive ridley turtles have been hatching in the daytime.
- While some people thought the daytime movement might be a result of the coronavirus lockdown, experts say this is not the case, according to Mongabay-India.
- People are loving the video clips on social media.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Video footage of tiny baby turtles scurrying across the sand of a deserted Indian beach to the sea is amazing people around the world.
Olive ridley turtles hatch in their thousands every spring in the eastern state of Odisha along the Indian coastline.
While the natural phenomenon usually only occurs at night, this year – for the first time in seven years, according to local media – the little guys have been making the journey in daylight.
A sight that casts magical spell year after year????
Nearly 2 crore plus olive Ridley hatchlings have emerged & made their way to sea from half of about 4 lakh nesting at Nasi-2 islands, Gahirmatha rookery Odisha.
The spectacle continues. Early morning video. pic.twitter.com/C0IKTWNCko
— Susanta Nanda IFS (@susantananda3) May 8, 2020
“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,” Amlan Nayak, district forest officer (DFO), Berhampur (Odisha), told Mongabay-India.
“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.”
While some people thought the daytime movement might be a result of the coronavirus lockdown, experts say this is not the case – although restrictions mean there have been fewer people on India’s beaches, the turtle nesting areas are protected anyway.
However, lockdown did mean that beach staff could focus more on keeping the sand clean of debris.
“I do not think the lockdown period can have any impact on the nesting activities of the olive ridley turtles,” S.N. Patro, an environmentalist from Bhubaneswar and the president of Orissa Environment Society, told Mongabay-India.
“But what the lockdown can do is that it can reduce the casualties of the sea turtles or the damages their eggs undergo in normal days. However, in the absence of human movements, pest attacks and attacks from other animals can increase as well.”
Ganjam District of Odisha is in red for sudden spike in Corona positive cases. But for these tiny tots,it was golden beach with the 1st brush of life.
Today’s morning visuals.
3.25lakh Olive Ridleys had laid eggs in 3rd week of March. The sea will be gifted with 3cr+ babies???? pic.twitter.com/2R5ITzWl9r
— Susanta Nanda IFS (@susantananda3) May 11, 2020
And Wildlife Institute of India researcher Bivash Pandav stressed that turtles only respond to environmental factors.
“If the turtles were indeed responding to the lockdown then they should have been nesting at Gahirmatha all the time where the beach is permanently locked down, due to inaccessibility and presence of defence establishment,” he told Mongabay-India.
“This is totally absurd and too much imagination by some people. Turtles strictly respond to certain environmental variables like tidal conditions, wind direction, lunar phase, and nest in mass accordingly.”
Whatever the reason for the turtles’ daytime journeys, people are loving the sight.
The magical moments from Rushikulya….
I had twitted the video from Gahirmatha 3 days earlier. These are the 1st of the Olive Ridley hatchlings making their way to sea from Rushikulya mouth of Ganjam district, Odisha????
Bon voyage…. pic.twitter.com/YS0ncmk9LJ
— Susanta Nanda IFS (@susantananda3) May 10, 2020
Odisha forest worker Susanta Nanda has been sharing clips on Twitter.
“Majestic and serene,” commented Abhishek Dwivedy.
And Nasreen Malik simply said: “Wowww!!!”