Krishna Wildlife Sanctuary has a good number of Olive Ridley turtles coming to the coast in the estuary region of Krishna river from Hamsaladeevi to Lankavanidibba to lay eggs.

But instances of hatchlings going back into sea were rare until the Eluru Wildlife Range began its first ever hatchery on the sea coast here.

While great work was being done in Orissa, northern parts of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, the forest department officials while on a routine inspection of one of the country's richest mangrove forest in February found pug marks of Olive Ridleys and a number of eggs spoiled by predators like fox and wild boar.

Conservator of Forests A.K. Sinha initiated setting up of a hatchery that could do conservation/protection and release of 512 hatchlings so far from February 11.

Assistant Conservator of Forest E. Mallikarjunaiah told The Hindu that till Saturday, they had conserved 1,775 eggs.

Out of them 512 had hatched in the past one month. One batch of 21 baby Olive Ridleys that came out of the shells in the early hours were released into the sea. Maintaining the right temperature (23 deg. C to 30 deg. C) and translocating the eggs at the right depth was the key to hatching, explained Kokkelagedda Nagaraju, who had been taking care of these eggs laboriously for the past three months on behalf of the department.

The department proposes to set up four more such hatcheries in Krishna district for the next season, beginning December.