On the south coast, Kosgoda, Kandakuliya and Rekawa are the three main sites where turtles, a protected species in Sri Lanka, have come to hatch since 1971. The « Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery » sanctuary was created to protect this endangered species. The eggs are collected and immediately buried in a sandy compound that offers protection from birds, crabs and humans, thanks to some netting. There are 8 varieties of turtle in the world, five of which can be found here: parrot, green, loggerhead, crocodile and leatherback. All turtles lay 105 eggs six times a year and the incubation period lasts 48 days. The turtles are kept for a 3-day period to let their navel close and prevent them from being eaten by fishes and crabs. In this turtle hatchery you will be able to admire the regular lodgers, such as albino turtles (very rare), two blind turtles and a turtle with no fins. These will never be let out as they would not be able to survive in the sea. Some sick turtles are also treated here before being set free. The tsunami in 2004 swept away all the eggs and turtles, but the sanctuary has been rebuilt thanks to donations. Show your support by giving a tip to the guide who takes you on a tour of the hatchery, since the visit is free.
Scuba diver over a Hawksbill Turtle and an Angelfish.© © Stuart Westmorland / age fotostock
Turtles breathe air and do not lay eggs underwater, although many species live in or around water.© © Ivan / age fotostock
The largest turtles are aquatic.© © Ivan / age fotostock
The upper shell of the turtle is called the carapace, while the lower shell that encases the belly is called the plastron.© © WaterFrame / age fotostock
The earliest known turtles date back 215 million years.© © ZoonarFrank Waberf / age fotostock