Soak in the spectacular sight of Olive ridley turtle babies making their first trek to the Arabian Sea in Velas
Baby Olive ridley turtles all set to embrace the sea in Velas.
Turtles – female Olive ridley turtles in particular – have a phenomenal memory. In their lifespan of about 50 years, where they swim for thousands of miles in the underwater world, they never forget one route. The females return to the same beach where they hatched to give birth to new life. The creatures are also communal in nature – they arrive at their native beach in thousands to lay eggs. The phenomenon, which makes for a stunning sight, is called Arribada.
Inhabitants of warm waters, the species has two haunts on the Indian coastline: Rushikulaya in Odisha and Velas in Ratnagiri. Over the years, Olive ridley turtles have borne the brunt of human activities and are now recognised as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List. Conservation measures have been underway to ensure the eggs hatch in a conducive environment and the hatchlings safely take their first steps to the sea. If Arribada has piqued your interest, a two-day eco-tour organised by Mumbai Travellers will take you to the Velas beach where you can watch the phenomenon unfold before your eyes.
“The baby turtles trek to the sea in early mornings and evenings, so we take travellers straight to the beach as soon as we arrive in Velas,” shares Karishma Joshi, eco-tours division head of the travel group. The trip includes a visit to the Bankot Fort and Harihareshwar. “In the evening, travellers will be taken to conservationist Mohan Upadhye’s home, where they will watch a documentary on the turtles. This will be followed by a skit presented by local children on turtle conservation,” shares Joshi.