Five out of the seven species of sea Turtles come ashore to nest in Sri Lanka , making it an ideal country to go Turtle Watching. Turtles are very nervous when they are looking for a place to nest and can therefore be easily scared.
The turtle hatchery at Hikkaduwa is a must-visit for all those who want to see these amazing animals survive and thrive after years of predation throughout the Indian Ocean.
Since 2003 OTCP (Our Turtle Conservation Project) has been hard at work ensuring the hatching, release, preserving and protecting of one of the sea's most fascinating creatures - The Sea Turtle. As the name implies, it is a local initiative that aims to educate both locals and tourists about the importance of protecting these incredible sea dwellers, in a fun and interactive environment. Milan the project leader and committee chairman, along with a team of up to 4 volunteers, and sometimes a helping hand from the local fishermen in the area, are always at hand to proudly show you the work that they are doing. From their eagerness to show you around, to pointing out just what has been achieved from visitor donations, their pride and sense of accomplishment is very visible.
The Kosgoda Sea Turtle Conservation Project began with local schoolboy Dudley Perera’s determination to help protect these beautiful but endangered animals. Thirty years later, its main focus is the hatchery, where eggs hatch safely away from predators, including human poachers, before the young are released into the sea. KSTCP also undertakes night patrols to ensure that females can lay their eggs undisturbed after travelling thousands of miles across the world’s oceans to the same spot that they themselves were hatched. Says Dudley: “As important as the project is, it is part of a close community and … Kosgoda is home to the most amazing and resilient people as well as turtles.”