11.12.2007 28 °C
This evening I went to the Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery.
There are 5 species of turtle in Sri Lanka - Green, Olive Ridley, Hawsbill, Leatherback and loggerhead, they all lay eggs along the beaches in Sri Lanka, the eggs are a delicacy in Sri Lanka so are stolen by egg poachers and sold for a nice sum of money.
What the hatchery aim's to do is buy the eggs first and then hatch them in saftey they then wait until they are 3 days old and release them into the sea. These turtles are 3 days and will be released tonight.
For a small entrance fee of SR200 (about GBP 1) you can have a tour of the hatchery and the money goes towards keeping the hatchery open. You can also pay a little extra to go back in the evening and release some trurtles yourself.
I released four - I named them Bert, Eve, Murtle and Hurtle. (you dont have to name them - I just decided to)
The hatchery also takes care of injured turtles. One turtle has no front fins as it was captured for meat and the front fins cut off and thrown back into the sea. Another is blind (from birth) and will never be able to go back into the sea and survive. So they both stay here permantly
The other turtles there have been injred by fishing nets and are handed over to the hatchery to make them well and then they are released back into the sea.
As usual they try to sell you something at the end of the tour - however they do say that all proceeds go back into the Hatchery and helping these animals. The hatchery was completely wiped out by the Tsunami and they have managed to rebuild it with the help of volunteers and donations.
Great evening and very worthwhile