Olive Ridley hatchlings at Rushikulya, Orissa

Sudipto Roy
A safe escort!

Olive Ridley turtles are the smallest marine turtles. They hatch in millions on certain sections of Orissa’s coasts. But due to several threats (all man-made), very few of those that hatch make it to the sea — a distance of less than a 100 metres. And even those that make it to the sea get caught in fishermen’s dragnets further lessening the number that grow into adults to come back and lay eggs.

Some NGOs are working hard to protect the baby hatchlings by escorting them safely during their first journey to the sea. This particular journey can be dangerous for the hatchlings due to the presence of various raptors, scavengers like crows or even street dogs that devour the hapless little ones. Here some volunteers are trying to ensure a safe passage of a few hatchlings during the first crawl to the sea.

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