Fact: Sea turtles have been around for over 100 million years
Fact: There are seven species of turtles: Leatherback, Loggerhead, Olive Ridley, Kemp’s Ridley, Hawksbill, Green and Flatback
Fact: According to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, of the seven turtle species, four are endangered, two of which (Hawksbill & Kemp’s Ridley) are listed as critically endangered
Fact: In a small place along Sri Lanka’s southern coast, one family is doing their bit to save these precious marine creatures; welcome to the Turtle Hatchery in Hikkaduwa!
This family-run project was initially destroyed due to the devastating tsunami in 2004 which also resulted in the loss of life of its founder (Mr Ariyapala) and other family members. The founder’s remaining son rebuilt the hatchery and continued his father’s legacy of turtle conservation.
Located in the seaside town of Hikkaduwa around a 10 minute drive from Hikka Tranz by Cinnamon, the hatchery looks to protect turtle eggs and provides a safe environment where they can hatch. These hatchlings are then released out to sea under watchful and caring eyes.
What you can see
When entering the Turtle Hatchery in Hikkaduwa you will see the sand-filled enclosure where the turtle eggs are buried. There are also several tanks with large turtles and depending on the time you visit, hatchlings that have not been released as yet. It is little wonder why it’s such a popular attraction amongst those staying at Hikkaduwa hotels!
The journey begins
Depending on when you visit, you can even see and participate in releasing them out to sea as the setting sun casts its light on these baby turtles embarking on their long journey ahead.
Catalina Forbes is a travel writer who bases her content on many thrilling escapades experienced across the world. Google+