Principal Chief Conservator of Forest C. Madhukar Raju, Chief Wildlife Warden Hitesh Malhotra, and Additional Principal Chief Conservator A.V. Joseph on Friday let 845 baby Olive Ridley turtles near this island go into the Bay of Bengal.

The IFS officers from Hyderabad, after a 170-km journey through the forests, visited Corenga Forest Division to personally see the rookeries established by the Rajahmundry Wildlife Division in Kandikuppa and Vaada Dibba islands.

Conservator of Forest, Rajahmundry Circle, J.S.N. Murhty, explained to the officials about the rookeries and the work done by his team of officers.

He said that rookeries established for the endangered turtles in a stretch of 10 km from Kandikuppa light house to Vaada Dibba were being taken care of from February this year. The department, after noticing eggs of the endangered species in large numbers for the last few years, decided to conserve them and planned rookeries along the coast.

Mr. Malhotra said that generally these species hatch in the months of February and March. It would take 48 to 58 days for hatching.

G. Gopinagendra Kumar, FBO, said that in each pit the turtles had laid 90 to 150 eggs.

Wildlife Conservator A.K. Sinha said that after laying eggs the turtles would return to sea, exposing them to the danger of getting destroyed or eaten by animals and birds. Conservation of eggs thus turned out to be a challenge for the department, he added.

District Forest Officer P.S. Raghavaiah and District Wildlife Officer M. Parvatheesam Naidu were present.

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