Rare Green Sea Turtle, new guest of Ganjam’s Rushikulya rookery
Ganjam’s Rushikulya rookery which set a new milestone by registering nesting of a 6.37 lakh Olive Ridley turtles this season, has recorded a new guest - a rare Green Sea Turtle.
Published: 31st March 2023 07:52 AM | Last Updated: 31st March 2023 07:52 AM | A+A A-
BERHAMPUR: Ganjam’s Rushikulya rookery which set a new milestone by registering nesting of a 6.37 lakh Olive Ridley turtles this season, has recorded a new guest - a rare Green Sea Turtle. About 140 kg in weight, the sea turtle was spotted by forest field staff on Monday. It is yet to be ascertained if the marine species laid eggs. Green Sea Turtles are among the largest.
Khallikote range officer Sidharth Shankar Sahu said, the turtle stayed at the beach for about two hours before it returned to the sea. “We were surprised to see the huge turtle which moved around for nearly two hours and then went back to sea without laying an egg. We also measured it,” he added.
The turtle was 1.45 metres long and 102 cm in width. It weighed around 140 kg, Sahu said adding its cartilage was green in colour. The forest staff deployed to protect the Olive Ridley eggs ensured that the rare sea turtle was not harmed by anyone.
Director of Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) Dr Bivas Pandab said the adult Green Sea Turtle was sighted in Rushikulya rookery for the first time. Pandab has spent considerable time researching the behaviour of Olive Ridley turtles at the rookery.
Juvenile Green Sea Turtles were found washing ashore about two decades back, he said. “We used to hope nesting would take place but it did not at that time. However, this time there is a strong possibility of the turtle’s return for nesting but hatching can only be ascertained later,” he added.
Rabindra Sahu, secretary of Sea Turtle Protection Samiti at Gokharakuda said the adult green turtles are found in Lakshadweep, Andaman and Gujarat but have never been seen along Odisha coast.