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Sea Turtle Hatchery – Peraliya Telwattha

By the side of the Seenigama road past Seenigama Dewalaya, is a little hatchery with a big story. The short and narrow entrance opens to an oasis for turtle lovers with unborn ones still in their shell, handicap, rescued and other

An individual now runs the hatchery, which was once run by an entire family. He is the only family member who survived the tsunami back in 2006. And he tells visitors of his eight-year long battle against depression after losing his wife, kids, parents and another family member to the tsunami when he was away in Colombo. But with all the courage and enthusiasm in the world he continues to educate and guide the visitors through a good time. 

The hatchery homes baby turtles that were either rescued or handed over. They swim in the water tanks peacefully and can be picked and held. The larger and older turtles swim alone in their pools and when you visit be careful not to touch them unless the instructors give you permission to. Given that some turtles bite, it is best to get a thumbs up from the workers before pulling them out of the water. The turtles who don’t bite will still flap their hands, however, this is an encounter one must experience so get your flip flops on and head down to pet them!

During the tour around the hatchery, the owner will educate you on the types of turtles, how to protect them, how to rescue them and what steps could be taken to prevent them from becoming extinct. A donation box is also placed for your generous donations to keep the hatchery operating. All turtles are released to the sea once they are healthy and fit to explore the blue ocean waters.

This hatchery is a must visit when adventuring in Telwattha, so get in touch with your inner turtle lover and have a good time. You can even ask to volunteer and help them!