Wild Turtle Rescue
It’s no surprise that Sri Lanka, being an island, attracts a variety of turtles. These slow, graceful, pre-historic creatures are mesmerizing, and frankly deserve all our respect. Roaming the oceans for millions of years, these marine warriors migrate through the seas with grace.
It’s hard to believe turtles only need to surface every thirty minutes for a breath, and when asleep they need so little oxygen they are able to stay under the surface an entire night. Marine turtles reach sexual maturity only after 30 years with a life span of at least 80 years. Female turtles like salmon, returning to the beach they were hatched on to lay their own eggs. Each nest usually carries between 80 to 120 eggs, and a female turtle may nest up to five times a season. When these little turtles hatch, they make their way in a frenzy straight to the sea, like little motorized water toys. The sad fact is, on the average, every 1,000 eggs laid will yield a single mature adult turtle.
The coastal beaches of the island are nesting grounds to five species including Green Turtles, Leatherback, Hawksbill, Loggerhead and Olive Ridley Turtles. They all have selected specific areas and continue to nest in their territories. Along the southern coast there are several hatcheries, which make a daily effort to protect the turtles, their eggs and their way of life. Saving turtles from poachers and predators has become more popular over recent years and local laws further support the cause. Stop in at a hatchery for a visit and, if you’re lucky, you might get a chance to release a few tiny turtles into the evening sunset, wishing them bon voyage with a hope for their success in the circle of life.