For the first time in two decades, at least 80 newly hatched Olive ridley turtles were spotted at Versova beach on Thursday morning, waddling towards the sea.
Environmentalists attributed the “happy phenomenon” to the sustained efforts by lawyer-activist Afroz Shah and his team over 127 weeks to clean Versova beach.
“This is indeed very good news for our Versova beach. The 80 Olive ridley turtles hatched in the morning and made a dash towards the sea,” said Shah. “Earlier, this beach was very dirty, with piles of plastic trash. No sea turtles were hatching here as garbage is a huge hurdle for them to cross. But now, thanks to the Clean Versova Beach drive, we are all happy and blessed to have seen these newly hatched Olive ridley turtles.”
Clean-up activists and animal welfare groups together ensured that the little turtles navigated their way into the sea safely, from the hatching site, which was 30-35m from the shoreline.
Environmentalist D Stalin said: “This is a very good development at the cleaned up Versova beach. However, care should be taken that the lights at the beach are made dimmer and the area cordoned off till the nesting period is fully over, as human poachers are a threat for these turtles. Also, bright lights may confuse the young hatchlings.”
Article source: Times of India