Sri Lanka Map
Site Index
Contact
Random
Our Travel Books
Advertising / Press

The Habaraduwa Turtle Hatchery

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Our Sea Turtle Excursion at Rekawa Beach

Sri Lanka is one of the world’s most important breeding spots for the endangered sea turtle, but heavy development of the coast has contributed greatly to their ever-declining number. To combat that trend, a number of hatcheries have opened along the southern coast. We visited one in Habaraduwa.

Super-Cute-Turtle

The small hatchery, which cost 400 rupees per person, was split into a few sections. A curiously tiny patch of sand in the corner contained batches of eggs (or “clutches”). Each was labeled with the date they were laid, the number of eggs in the clutch, and the exact species. We were told that about one set of eggs hatches every day. I was surprised how tightly the clutches were placed next to each other.

The rest of the hatchery was occupied by a bunch of water tanks. In one, dozens of baby turtles swam clumsily about. They were cute, and would stay in captivity until their fourth day of life before being released into the ocean. Our guide explained that when they’re a bit older, their chances of survival increase dramatically.

Other tanks held injured turtles, including one I nicknamed “Stumpy”. A propeller had carved Stumpy’s right flipper clean off, and the poor guy could no longer submerge. Instead he floated around on top of the water, continually rotating his stump. Five other turtles which had been found clinging to life on the beach, including a couple impressively large specimens, swam about their tanks, recovering in the hatchery until they could be re-released.

The Habaraduwa Hatchery is a private enterprise, unaffiliated with any offical conservation organization. And it was impossible to ignore the disquieting possibility, or likelihood even, that it’s more interested in tourist dollars than protecting sea turtles. The cold reality is that private individuals are going out at night, digging up sea turtle eggs from the beach, bringing them to their property, and then charging tourists to see them.

Seaturtle.org has a comprehensive article on the pros and cons of Sri Lanka’s private hatcheries. The truth is, something has to be done to protect these beautiful, endangered creatures. And if the government won’t step in with an official and adequately enforced conservation effort, private hatcheries might be the next best thing. Yes, they might just want our cash, but this might be one of those rare instances when the interests of capitalism and conservation align. Ultimately, we enjoyed our trip here and felt that it was an enterprise worth tentative support.

Location on our Sir Lanka Map
Snorkel Gear

Sea Turtle Hatchery
Hatchery-Turtles-Sri-Lanka
Little Turtles
Turtle Mess
Not Trusting Turtles
Turtle Bubbles
Pissed Turtle
Little Stonkers
Sad Turtle
, , , , , , , , , ,
April 27, 2012 at 8:47 am Comment (1)

Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Me Some Kottu

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Sri Lanka Cook Books

One of Sri Lanka’s most typical dishes, and perhaps my favorite, is kottu. Combining rotti bread, veggies, a variety of spices and (optionally) egg, cheese or chicken, it’s one of the country’s few specialties in which rice plays no role. And the best part is, you don’t ever have to look for a restaurant which serves kottu … just listen.

Kottu-Cook

The first time I heard the sounds of Kottu being prepared, I instantly thought “flamenco”. Perhaps it’s the result of too much time in Spain, but I had the faint hope that upon turning the corner, I’d see a flamboyantly-dressed gypsy dancer stomping his staccato rhythm out onto the pavement. But it was nothing like that. Just a dude chopping up bread and veggies. Still, it’s a great beat, and I found myself unconsciously tocando las palmas and occasionally muttering “¡Vale!

The preparation of kottu is quite a spectacle, and the resulting creation is invariably delicious. Well, I suppose not invariably: please, don’t ever order chicken kottu. For reasons that elude the most basic understanding of human logic, many restaurants don’t bother to debone the chicken before sending it to the cleaver-weilding chopper. Resulting in a meal full of thousands of chicken-bone shards. Yum!

Please Follow Us On Twitter

Kottu Recipe
Kottu Of Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan Street Food
Spicy Kottu
Kottu To Go
The-National-Dish-of-Sri-Lanka
, , , , , , , ,
April 23, 2012 at 4:15 am Comments (3)
The Habaraduwa Turtle Hatchery Sri Lanka is one of the world's most important breeding spots for the endangered sea turtle, but heavy development of the coast has contributed greatly to their ever-declining number. To combat that trend, a number of hatcheries have opened along the southern coast. We visited one in Habaraduwa.
For 91 Days