Not only is Sri Lanka surrounded by pristine beaches and scenic views, we’re blessed with the luxury of having a wide variety of sea creatures finding their home in our waters. Therefore, it is indeed our duty to make our land a homely place for these creatures and ensure their safety.
The Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery is an institute dedicated to the protection and safeguarding sea turtles that visit our paradise isle for nesting and even injured, wounded and sick turtles in and around the island. The best part is that you can witness these efforts and get a first-hand experience by helping out at the hatchery. If you’re on the lookout for things to do in Bentota, here’s a must!
Photo Credits: Ceylone Agents
Their work includes many projects aimed at the well-being of turtles and creating awareness on these endangered species. Some of their projects include:
Definitely not an easy task but conservation of turtle nesting grounds is vital for their successful breeding. These efforts include keeping the beach clean, planting shelter plants, etc. all of which you can help them do!
Large part of the work of the hatchery includes collecting eggs from nests on the beach and reburying them in the hatchery where they can hatch in safety. Later these hatchlings are released back to their habitat.
Photo Credits: Landsim
Who said the beach wasn’t beautiful at night? The hatcheries projects include patrolling the beach at night not only to deter poachers but to witness beautiful female turtles coming up to nest. A once-in-a-lifetime experience not to be missed.
Education and awareness:
The Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery is highly involved in creating awareness among the tourists and the local community of the importance of conserving these endangered species. They do so by community activities and awareness campaigns through which a wealth of information can be gathered.
Photo Credits: Luigi Jey
While you’re on your Bentota sightseeing tour, do make a stop at the Hatchery to witness some of the world’s rarest sea turtle species. You can purchase your entry ticket at the entrance for a price of Rs. 500 (approximately USD 3) and catch a glimpse of the five sea turtle species that have been declared as endangered:
The Leatherback Turtle remains on the brink of extinction and is the largest of the five endangered species. Their unique flexible carapace (a layer of thin, tough, rubbery skin peppered with thousands of bone plates giving it a leathery appearance) and its seven ridges enable them to dive to depths of 1500m in search of their favourite food, the jellyfish! Around 5 Leatherback Turtles are known to nest at Kosgoda Beach each year.
To start with a fun fact; Their names refer to the colour of the fat found under their shell which is green in colour. These turtles tend to nest only every few years but when they do they lay several times in one season. Green Turtles are regularly found on the beach at night, so look out for them if you’re by the beach at night!
These turtles are easily identifiable because of its large head as its name suggests and are rare in Sri Lanka. They are mainly carnivores and have large muscular jaws which are ideal for crushing molluscs and crustaceans. Try your luck in catching a glimpse of this rare sight.
Renowned for its beautiful shell made up of 13 symmetrical and colourful pieces, the Hawksbill turtle is a critically endangered species that is a regular visitor to Sri Lanka. The name Hawksbill is owing to its narrow head and bird-like beak, which is used to catch animals hiding in small crevices.
Photo Credits: Neil McPhee
Olive Ridley Turtle:
They are the smallest of the sea turtles and are heavily hunted for its meat making them a high risk endangered species. Olive Ridley Turtles nest yearly and many lay their eggs on Kosgoda Beach, depositing more than 150 at one time. So, do not miss out on the opportunity of seeing them with your own eyes!
Photo Credits: Marion Monsor
When choosing the best Sri Lanka Beach resort to stay at, its best if you stay at a convenient location close to the Kosgoda Hatchery where all these endangered and rare sea turtles often pay a visit to. Cinnamon Bey Beruwala which is in close proximity will ensure that all your needs are taken care of; the best beaches, scrumptious food, plush rooms and your own curated trip to the hatchery!
Await the opening of our new location, Cinnamon Bentota Beach where we will be ready to receive you with five-star comfort and top notch service, just a short drive from the hatchery.
Author: Shenella Fonseka