Turtle watching and visiting turtle hatcheries in Sri Lanka is one of the most popular things to do for families staying in villas near Galle. Most of the country?s turtle hatcheries are towards the southern coast.
There are five species of sea turtles in Sri Lanka
- Green turtle
- Olive Rideley,
The highest abundance of green turtles can be found in Kosgoda and Rekawa areas. The oval shaped shell of these turtles are mixed with green and black. Olive ridleys are the most common species to visit Sri Lankan shores. They are the smallest of marine turtles and has an olive coloured carapace. The leatherbacks are the largest sea turtles and they exclusively feed on jellyfish. The hawksbill turtles can be identified by their hawk-like pointed beak and colorful shell. They too feed on toxins from jellyfish and shellfish then store them in their flesh.
Turtle Hatcheries in Sri Lanka
When you ride down the Galle Road towards the latter part of the coastal belt you will come across various turtle hatcheries. Most of these are focused on saving the endangered marine turtles that come to the Lankan shores. Sri Lanka’s beaches are favoured breeding spots for marine turtles. Bentota, Induruwa, Kosgoda, Ahungalle, Unawatuna, and Hikkaduwa are the preferred nesting areas for these endangered species in the country.
Visiting a Turtle Hatchery
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All hatcheries have an entrance ticket but it is usually less than a thousand rupees per person. There’s no duration for your stay as long as you don’t disturb the turtles you can hang around for as long as you like.
The turtle hatcheries are usually daycares for newborn marine turtles. The newborns need to be released to the sea within four days and sometimes visitors get a rare chance to release them.
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Staying in Villas Near Galle: Where to find Sea Turtles in Sri Lanka