Hundreds of sea turtles found dead on Odisha beach

Bhubaneswar, Jan 20 (IANS) Hundreds of endangered Olive Ridley turtles, besides a bottlenose dolphin, were found dead on Puri beach in Odisha on Wednesday.

The turtles were lying scattered stretching from Digabarini and Chakratirtha Road on the Puri beach Wednesday morning, said a forest official.

The actual cause behind the death of sea turtles is yet to be ascertained.

The carcass of the dolphin was sent for post-mortem examiantion, the official added.

Puri district collector Arabind Agarwal said the concerned departments were directed to ascertain what has caused the mass death of the turtles.

Sources said the turtles might have been killed by trawlers operating illegally in the sea.

Meanwhile, renowned sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik has created a sand sculpture of turtles with message “Give us space to live” at Puri beach.

“Today I found hundreds of dead turtles at Puri beach. I felt sad to see these turtles and never seen such a huge number of dead turtles at a beach. So, I have created some live size turtles, appealing to the government through my sand sculpture to find out the cause of death of turtles and protect these sea animals,” said Sudarsan Pattnaik.

The Odisha coast is one of the main mass nesting sites on the world map for the Olive Ridley turtles. Three sites — Gahiramatha, Devi Mouth and Rushikulya Mouth — in the coastal zone are world famous for mass nesting of turtle.

Recently, scores of whales were washed ashore on the Chennai beach. Despite all efforts by fishermen, at least 45 of them died while the rest were rescued and pushed back into the sea.

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