The carcasses of over 10 Olive Ridleys were washed ashore in the coastal stretch between Vedaranyam and Kodiakarai on Thursday.
The carcasses were washed ashore in the stretch between Manian Theevu and Sannathi areas. Each Ridley weighed around 150 kg. It is said that the Ridleys might have been hit by mechanised boats, while swimming towards the shore.
Forest department officials led by ranger Vedaratnam visited the spot and conducted enquiries. Post-mortem of the Ridleys was also conducted on the spot.
The coastline of Kodiakarai and Vedaranyam is a nesting ground of a large number of Olive Ridleys every year.
The nesting season begins in December and extends up to March. Female Ridleys travel towards the coast to lay eggs. On the coast, each female Ridley lays around 100 eggs and returns to the sea. The hatching period ranges around 60 days.
Predators like dogs, crows and vultures damage and prey on the eggs on the coast. Most of the eggs are damaged and only a handful hatch successfully.
Olive Ridleys are classified as endangered species and the Nagai Wildlife Department has set up a hatchery in Kodiakarai Wildlife Sanctuary premises to hatch the eggs artificially. The young ones that come out in the hatchery are later released into the sea. The life span of Ridleys range from 60 years to 300 years. The forest department has set up egg collection centres at six points in Veadaranyam coast.