Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Berhampur Ashish Kumar Behera felicitated the duo before they started paddling towards the river Rushikuklya mouth, one of the major mass nesting spot of the Olive ridley turtles near Ganjam town.
Hailing the effort of the two students, the DFO said their expedition was significant as a record number of over 4.45 lakh Olive ridley turtles laid eggs this time in the Rushikulya river mouth
"We have decided to set off in a cycle expedition to create awareness of the protection of the Olive ridley as the visit of the creatures are dwindling in the Devi river mouth for last few years," said Dillip.
Several factors like the operation of the mechanised fishing trawlers, pollution on the nesting sites, non-use of turtle protective devices in the boats cause disturbances on their mass nesting, they said.
"During interaction with the people, school and college students, we advocated protection of Olive ridley turtles. They are our guests and we should give all protection to them", they added
The two students started their journey on March 7 from Konark in Puri district with an aim to reach at Gahiramatha, the major nesting site of the turtles in Kendrapada district on March 14 while covering the coastal areas of Puri, Chilika, Gopalpur, Rushikulya river mouth, Satakosia, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Siali and Paradip.
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