Kosgoda Things to Do
We visited Kosgoda Sea Turtle Hatchery during a day-long tuk tuk tour of the region in March 2014. It was billed as a conservation project, where turtles could hatch in a safe environment away from predators and poachers.
We arrived at the hatchery in the middle of the afternoon and it was raining heavily.
Our first impressions weren't great. As we sheltered from the monsoon-like conditions, two young men were trying to extract as much money from us as they could. There was no visible list of entrance fees and the men were trying to charge us 1,000 Rs (£5) each to see the hatchery. This seemed steep, particularly as we didn't intend to stay very long. We finally agreed on a fee of 500 Rs (£2.50) each.
The guide began by showing us some newly hatched turtles. There were hundreds of small, 2-3 day old turtles and we were given the opportunity to hold them. Some were in large pools, others were in smaller buckets where they were being fed.
As we moved from tank to tank, we saw progressively older turtles. We were then shown a tank that contained injured and disabled turtles. One had been born blind, others has been injured after getting caught up in fishermen's nets.
We were given the chance to hold a variety of different sized turtles, including some that were almost a metre long and extremely heavy.
Information boards were displayed throughout the hatchery, detailing the lifecycle of the turtles and the five different types of turtles (Leatherback, Green, Hawksbill, Loggerhead and Olive Ridley) that are found in Sri Lanka.
Each of the enclosures that housed the turtles was sponsored by foreign citizens. We saw sponsors from the UK, USA, Canada, UAE, Qatar and Singapore. The guide kept pointing these out to us. He wasn't only concerned about how we could help to fund the turtle conservation project, but also how we could help him personally. He was keen that we should "look after him" after he had "helped" us to negotiate a lower entrance fee. In fairness, he was giving us an informative tour and was ferrying me around under a large umbrella to save me from getting soaked, so we would ultimately give him a tip for his efforts.
Towards the end of the tour, we were shown to a sandy area where the turtles would hatch. Signposts showed the spots where various eggs were buried beneath the sand, each sign indicating the type of turtle that would hatch there. We were given the chance to hold some of the eggs (which looked like ping pong balls). Our guide brushed aside some of the sand to show us turtles that had hatched that day. He quickly covered them over again with sand; they would be released from the sand at night time.
At the end of the tour, we were shown into the gift shop where we found a selection of turtle and non-turtle related souvenirs.
A worthwhile turtle conservation project. Worth a short visit if you're in the area.
Visit to the turtle hatchery in Kosgoda. Five of the world's 8 species of turtles nest in Sri Lankan beaches. All 5 species are listed as endangered. The Turtle Hatchery at Kosgoda is a conservation project that is helping to sustain and enhance the stability of sea turtles.You can visit the Hatchery, observe its activities and learn about these fascinating creatures.Related to:
- Family Travel
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