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Asian Championship mascot tag for olive turtle

Olive ridley sea turtle, an endangered species enjoying highest protection status as that of Royal Bengal Tiger under wildlife protection act, would be the mascot of 22nd Asian Athletics Championship scheduled to be held in July in Bhubaneswar.

Incidentally, Gori, world’s lone captive albino croc, was the mascot for the National Youth Festival that had been held at Bhubaneswar in 2010.

Olive Ridleys are rare natural heritage. Odisha has found a pride of place being home to World’s largest rookery of these aquatic species. That’s who the government has decided to confer mascot status to Olive turtle in the forthcoming mega sporting event, said Odisha sports minister Sudam Marandi.

The decision on mascot was unanimously adopted by governing body of the championship. The official announcement in this regard would be made shortly. The mega international event is scheduled to get kick-start from July 6. An estimated 600 athletes including 20 world champions of 45 countries will participate at the international event in Odisha.

The ridleys invade the Gahirnmatha beach in millions and lay eggs en-masse, a rare natural phenomenon which is otherwise described ‘arribada’ (a Spanish term for mass nesting). Nowhere in globe, such large congregation of olive turtles occurs, that’s why Gahirmatha beach in Odisha’s Kendrapara district is considered as world’s largest nesting ground of sea turtles. This year, over 6 lakh turtles had turned at the beach for laying eggs.

 


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