Endangered Olive Ridley turtles have laid a record 3.55 lakh eggs along Odisha’s Ganjam coast within a span of seven days, IANS reported. The process started on February 13, said Ashish Kumar Behera, the divisional forest officer of Berhampur division.

Last year, the turtles had laid 3,09,000 eggs, and the number might touch 4 lakh this time around, Behera said. The Odisha Forest Department has set up observation camps and is patrolling along the coast to ensure no outsiders enter the 4.5-km long stretch of the beach where the turtles are mass-nesting. The coasts have been fenced and speedboats have been deployed to restrict the entry of fishing trawlers, Behera told IANS.

Olive Ridleys are the smallest of sea turtle species and get their name from the olive green colour of their shells. Thousands of female turtles crawl to the coast and nest in a synchronised manner.